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A richly detailed account of the little-known cultural and political relationship between Elizabethan England and the Islamic world.

In 1570, after plots and assassination attempts against her, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope. It was the beginning of cultural, economic and political exchanges with the Islamic world of a depth not again experienced until the modern age. England signed treaties with the Ottoman Porte, received ambassadors from Morocco and shipped munitions to Marrakech in the hope of establishing an accord which would keep the common enemy of Catholic Spain at bay. This awareness of the Islamic world found its way into many of the great English cultural productions of the day - especially, of course, Shakespeare's Othello and The Merchant of Venice. This Orient Isle shows that England's relations with the Muslim world were far more extensive, and often more amicable, than we have ever appreciated, and that their influence was felt across the political, commercial and domestic landscape of Elizabethan England.%%%AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4

'Fabulous, timely, a marvellous achievement' Spectator

'A richly resonant work which recasts our understanding of the Elizabethan era' Daily Telegraph

In 1570, after plots and assassination attempts against her, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope. It was the beginning of cultural, economic and political exchanges with the Islamic world of a depth not again experienced until the modern age. England signed treaties with the Ottoman Porte, received ambassadors from Morocco and shipped munitions to Marrakech in the hope of establishing an accord which would keep the common enemy of Catholic Spain at bay. This awareness of the Islamic world found its way into many of the great English cultural productions of the day - especially, of course, Shakespeare's Othello and The Merchant of Venice. This Orient Isle shows that England's relations with the Muslim world were far more extensive, and often more amicable, than we have ever appreciated, and that their influence was felt across the political, commercial and domestic landscape of Elizabethan England.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780141978673

    April 18, 2017

    Penguin Press

    384 pages

    RRP $24.99

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  • EBook

    9780241004036

    April 18, 2017

    Penguin eBooks

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