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  • Published: 18 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241004036
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

This Orient Isle

Elizabethan England And The Islamic World




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

In 1570, after numerous plots and assassination attempts against her, Elizabeth I of England 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 the kings of 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. Less well known is that in 1599 Thomas Dallam, who made the organ for King's College in Cambridge, was sent to Istanbul to play in front ofSultan Mehmed.

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. Jerry Brotton, one of the UK's leading experts on cultural exchange, gives this neglected history the fullest study it has ever received.

  • Published: 18 April 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241004036
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

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Praise for This Orient Isle

This Orient Isle is an exceptionally rich and brilliant book. In bringing to life Elizabethan England's ambivalent engagement with Islam, Jerry Brotton shows how profoundly that encounter shaped English trade, diplomacy, and the Islam-obsessed drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The story he tells could not be more timely.

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