The Sultan And The Queen: The Untold Story Of Elizabeth And Islam

Jerry Brotton


PAGES: 344
SIZE: 16,5 x 24 cm
HARDCOVER ISBN: 978-605-7685-92-6

Following plots and assassination attempts by Catholic powers against her, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope in 1570. Both in and outside her country, Elizabeth was under the siege of Catholic forces, and she adopted the principle “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” She established unprecedented political, economic, military, and business relationships and alliances with Muslim states which were in conflict with Catholic states led by Spain. The period also marks the beginning of England’s cultural engagement and interactions with the Islamic world.

England signed agreements with Babıâli. Although he did not treat her as an equal, the queen corresponded with the Ottoman sultan and with his wife Haseki Safiye Sultan, regardless of the status difference. She gave the sultan a wind-up clock-organ, which was a marvel of technology for the time. She received envoys from the kings of Morocco. She even provided ammunition support to Muslim states for use against Catholic Christians.

These new relationships and alliances increased awareness of Muslims in English society, which was reflected in the many cultural products of the time, notably Shakespeare’s Othello and The Merchant of Venice, albeit in a rather distorted fashion.

Jerry Brotton’s work the Sultan and the Queen indicates that the relations that England established with the Turkish, Arab, and Muslim world during this period were friendlier and much more extensive than believed, and seriously affected the politics, economy, trade, and face of Elizabethan England.


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