This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World

This Orient Isle Elizabethan England and the Islamic World In when it became clear she would never be gathered into the Catholic fold Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope On the principle that my enemy s enemy is my friend this marked the begin

  • Title: This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World
  • Author: Jerry Brotton
  • ISBN: 9780241004029
  • Page: 215
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1570, when it became clear she would never be gathered into the Catholic fold, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope On the principle that my enemy s enemy is my friend , this marked the beginning of an extraordinary English alignment with the Muslim powers who were fighting Catholic Spain in the Mediterranean, and of cultural, economic and political exchanges wiIn 1570, when it became clear she would never be gathered into the Catholic fold, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope On the principle that my enemy s enemy is my friend , this marked the beginning of an extraordinary English alignment with the Muslim powers who were fighting Catholic Spain in the Mediterranean, and 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 Marrakesh By the late 1580s hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Elizabethan merchants, diplomats, sailors, artisans and privateers were plying their trade from Morocco to Persia.These included the resourceful mercer Anthony Jenkinson who met both S leyman the Magnificent and the Persian Shah Tahmasp in the 1560s, William Harborne, the Norfolk merchant who became the first English ambassador to the Ottoman court in 1582 and the adventurer Sir Anthony Sherley, who spent much of 1600 at the court of Shah Abbas the Great The previous year, remarkably, Elizabeth sent the Lancastrian blacksmith Thomas Dallam to the Ottoman capital to play his clockwork organ in front of Sultan Mehmed The awareness of Islam which these Englishmen brought home found its way into many of the great cultural productions of the day, including most famously Marlowe s Tamburlaine, and Shakespeare s Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice The year after Dallam s expedition the Moroccan ambassador, Abd al Wahid bin Mohammed al Annuri, spent six months in London with his entourage Shakespeare wrote Othello six months later.This Orient Isle shows that England s relations with the Muslim world were far extensive, and often amicable, than we have appreciated, and that their influence was felt across the political, commercial and domestic landscape of Elizabethan England It is a startlingly unfamiliar picture of part of our national and international history.

    One thought on “This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World”

    1. bbc/programmes/b074w30mDescription: Professor Jerry Brotton, one of the UK's leading experts on cultural exchange, examines Queen Elizabeth I's fascination with the Orient. He 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.Derek Jacobi reads the captivating account of how Britain sent ships, treatie [...]

    2. Through the long reign of Elizabeth I, Protestant England was isolated in Europe and needed economic and military help to survive the powerful enmity of Catholic Europe - especially the Spain of Philip II. To achieve some balance of power, Elizabeth took advantage of an evolving trade with Islamic powers (Ottomans, Moroccans, even Persians) to secure a limited level of collaboration against the common enemy - Spain. Both trade and diplomacy provide the setting for colourful and highly entertaini [...]

    3. I wish I could escape the irony of reviewing this book on such a day, but I can't. It wouldn't be honest. Today weighs heavy on me: a day on which it became clear that a slight majority of the British people voted for isolation / independence from Europe. This Orient Isle is about a time when Protestant England was isolated from Catholic Europe. Elizabeth and her people turned to trading with, and developing political relationships with, the Islamic world. This is a part of history that is usual [...]

    4. From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:Professor Jerry Brotton, one of the UK's leading experts on cultural exchange, examines Queen Elizabeth I's fascination with the Orient. He 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.Derek Jacobi reads the captivating account of how Britain sent ships, treatie [...]

    5. Excellent history: the sort we weren't taught at school. How Queen Elizabeth I forged trading alliances with Morocco and the Ottoman Empire (cloth for sugar) - and how those racial Islamic stereotypes ('the Moor') made their way onto the Elizabethan stage,(Tamburlaine,Othello). England needed these alliances to try and contain the Spanish,who Drake failed to see off after the Armada. Flagwavers,take note.

    6. الكتاب يحكي بتفصيل عن أوائل العلاقة بين بريطانيا للبروتستانتية والعالم المسلم. الكتاب مليء بالتفاصيل عن حياك ومغامرات الرواد الإنجليز في العالم الاسلامي، بين عامي ١٥٥٠م و ١٦١٠م. العلاقة بين الإنجليز والعالم الاسلامي بدأت بتجار مغامرين وباحثين عن فرص بالشرق الغني، ليتبعهم [...]

    7. The first chapters were a yawn fest since it tries to explain events leading to the development of both Elizabethan England and the Islamic world. For non-historians or people that are not familiar with the basic information it will be interesting.The real part of the book starts with the English merchants travelling to Persian and Ottoman lands seeking alliances against the Catholic rulers of Europe. It is quite interesting to see how the first Englishmen saw this vastly different world and how [...]

    8. An extremely detailed record of the relationship between England and Islam during the reign of Elizabeth I. Personal reflection: I don’t think that the date of the publication (during the year of the Brexit vote) is a sheer coincidence, given the focus of this book, i.e. the rationale for protestant England to explore business avenues other than those available in largely catholic Europe.

    9. A bit of a game of two halves the historical swashbucklin 'n'politickin first half was brilliant, the litcrit second half (evolution of Turkish tyranny as dramatic shorthand in Lizlit) didn't really cohere (and hey, cutting things off just as we get to Jacobean tanglings over royal power? so not cool), nor was it particularly well hitched to the former. Going to track down JB's book on maps forthwith since that one would seem to play to his (v material, ho ho) strengths.

    10. This book deals with the strong ties between the Islamic world and Elizabethan England, via trade and political treaties and diplomatic missions. Attention is also given to how this influenced theatre and literature at the time, with English writers trying to understand Islamic culture. A good read, and a timely one, as it shows that the world was never as small or isolated as some people would like to believe.

    11. IT was super interesting . However, I pretended I was reading a historical magazine article and 40 pages was enough. Good picture. Good writing. I just am not interested in all the details of details.

    12. Cooperation between the Christian world and the Muslim world is not a new topic though Brotton adds something of interesting when he discusses the linguistic effort to turn the Muslims into pseudo-Protestants.

    13. Bit of a slog to read through and when it delved into being more of a literary analysis of some of the playwrights of the time it became even more so.

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