Douglas A Burton

Far Away Bird

Inspired by true events, Far Away Bird delves into the complex mind of Byzantine Empress Theodora. This intimate account deftly follows her rise from actress-prostitute in Constantinople’s red-light district to the throne of the Byzantine Empire.
Her salacious past has left historians blushing and uncomfortable. Tales of her shamelessness have survived for centuries, and yet her accomplishments as an empress are unparalleled. Theodora goes on to influence sweeping reforms that result in some of the first ever Western laws granting women freedom and protection. More than a millennium before the women’s rights movement, Theodora, alone, took on the world’s greatest superpower and succeeded. Far Away Bird goes where history classrooms fear to tread, in hopes that Theodora can finally take her seat among the greatest women in history.
Follow young Theodora through the scintillating and violent world of Byzantium. From the brothels to the bathhouses to the spectacular chariot races in the Hippodrome—her role in society seemed hopeless. But when she’s trained as a political spy, the lessons on personal power transform Theodora into the stuff of empresses. She seems impossible—yet her transcendence teaches us that society can’t tell us who we are deep down. Before there was a legendary empress, there was a conflicted young woman from the lower classes.
And her name was Theodora.
Cover illustration by George Frei at
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