Share this page
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Rate this post

Boyd Tonkin in The Independent, ‘ With Henry VIII’s break with Rome and then (in 1570) Elizabeth’s excommunication as a “heretic” by Pope Pius V, England found itself shunned as a rogue state by Catholic Europe. It needed friends with clout in strategic locations. Around the Mediterranean and the Middle East, only the lands of Islam could supply them. Thus the stage was set for an extraordinary half-century of adventures, deals, conspiracies and misunderstandings: a little-known story that [Jerry] Brotton chronicles [in his book This Oriental Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World]with scholarship, assurance, and not a little charm.

He  tells a very English story: the quest for the sweet deal and the quick groat usually trumps theological niceties. It runs from the Leicestershire mercer Anthony Jenkinson’s meeting in Aleppo with Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, to the mishaps and manoeuvres of the freelance diplomat Sir Anthony Sherley at the Persian court of Shah Abbas I. With a tempting trade pact or military alliance in the offing, it proved surprisingly easy for both sides to forget the little matter of whether Jesus of Nazareth was the divine Son of God or simply the last prophet before the final revelation to Mohammed.’ click here.

Links: For the scholarship of Nabil Matar in this field, click here.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •