Penguin Book

This Orient Isle

Jerry Brotton

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 of Sultan 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.

Jerry Brotton is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of Renaissance Bazaar, The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and his Art Collection (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction and the Hessell-Tiltman History Prize), and the celebrated A History of the World in Twelve Maps, which has been translated into eleven languages.

Publication date
  • History
  • Philosophy and Religion
Format TPS
234 x 153mm
Penguin Group US (Viking) (PRH Rights)
Rogers Coleridge & White Ltd (RCW)
Rogers Coleridge & White Ltd (RCW)
Rogers Coleridge & White Ltd (RCW)
Audio (Unabridged)
Rogers Coleridge & White Ltd (RCW)
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