By Jerry Brotton
The attention-grabbing tale of Queen Elizabeth’s mystery alliance with the Ottoman sultan and outreach to the Muslim global by means of The manhattan Times bestselling writer of A historical past of the area in Twelve Maps (published within the united kingdom as This Orient Isle)
"An illuminating account of a ignored element of Elizabethan England: its wealthy, complicated, and ambivalent kin with the Muslim world. The Sultan and the Queen is a desirable and well timed book."
—Stephen Greenblatt, writer of The Swerve
Long earlier than Thomas Jefferson faced the Barbary Pirates, Queen Elizabeth despatched a mystery message to the Ottoman Sultan Murad III, inviting him to open his markets to her retailers. Islam and the West crossed paths a lot in advance of we think—and initially the Muslims had the higher hand.
When Elizabeth used to be excommunicated by means of the pope in 1570, she stumbled on herself in a clumsy hindrance. England had consistently relied on alternate. Now its key markets have been unexpectedly closed to her Protestant retailers, whereas the staunchly Catholic king of Spain vowed to take her throne. In a daring selection with far-reaching effects, she set her attractions at the Muslim powers. She despatched an emissary to the shah of Iran, wooed the king of Morocco, and entered into an unheard of alliance with the strong Ottoman, surroundings the degree for England's transformation from a peripheral participant at the chilly fringes of Europe to the hub of an international empire.
by way of the overdue 1580s hundreds of thousands, might be millions, of Elizabethan retailers, diplomats, sailors, artisans and privateers have been plying their exchange from Morocco to Persia. those integrated the imaginitive mercer Anthony Jenkinson, who met either Suleyman and the terrific and the Persian Sah Tahmasp within the 1560s, William Harborne, the Norfolk service provider who turned the 1st English ambassador to the Ottoman courtroom in 1582, and the adventurer Sir Anthony Sherley, who spent a lot of 1600 on the courtroom of Shah Abbas.
This marked the start of a rare alignment with Muslim powers and of monetary and political exchanges with the Islamic global of a intensity now not back skilled until eventually the trendy age. through the past due 1580s, millions of English retailers, diplomats, sailors, and privateers have been plying their alternate from Morocco to Persia. To finance those expeditions, they created the 1st ever joint inventory corporation, a innovative new company version that balanced chance and reward.
Londoners have been gripped with a fondness for the Orient. Elizabeth turned addicted to sugar as new phrases like candy, turquoise, and tulip entered the English language. Marlowe provided up Tamburlaine and Shakespeare wrote Othello six months after the 1st Moroccan ambassador’s stopover at. Jerry Brotton unearths that Elizabethan England’s courting with the Muslim global was once way more amicable—and way more extensive—than now we have ever favored as he tells the riveting tale of the investors and adventurers who first went East to hunt their fortunes.
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Additional resources for The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam
Islam and Protestantism were both heresies, to be eradicated where possible by political unions, or, if necessary, by direct military assault. For Catholics, this message seemed a blessed salvation from the twin specters of Lutheranism and Islam. But to English Protestants it confirmed their worst fears. ”11 Mary had already made the connection between Protestantism and the Muslim “heresy” as early as the autumn of 1535, when she took the dramatic step of imploring Charles V to lead a crusade against her father following his divorce from her mother and the split from Rome.
Like that of so many Christians in the sixteenth century battling with profound changes to their faith, Mary’s understanding of Muslim Turks had been shaped by misconceptions of Islam that had endured for centuries, and went right back to the religion’s origins in seventh-century Arabia. Following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina in AD 632, Christians provided a variety of inconsistent and contradictory responses to Islam, ranging from indifference and bemusement to horror and disgust.
The amicable relationship that prospered under Elizabeth arose not from a principle of tolerance but as a result of political expediency. Nevertheless, the exchanges that ensued gave rise to a variety of encounters and transactions between Muslims and English Protestants, which have largely been ignored in most histories of the Elizabethan era. • • • England still likes to regard itself as a world power, but in the sixteenth century it was a country that lay on the fringes of the known world, and the Ottoman sultan, whose empire stretched from Egypt to central Europe, was widely recognized as a far more powerful and important player on the world stage.