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In 1570, Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated by the Pope. Jerry Brotton of Queen Mary University of London discusses how this was the beginning of an English alignment with Muslim powers. It led to 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 in the hope of establishing an accord that would keep the common enemy of Catholic Spain at bay. By the late 1580s hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Elizabethan merchants, diplomats, sailors, artisans and privateers were plying their trade from Morocco to Persia. Jerry 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, even touching Shakespeare. It is a startlingly unfamiliar picture of a part of our national and international history.
Jerry Brotton is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He is a regular broadcaster and critic as well the author of Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo, The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and his Art Collection (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and the Hessell-Tiltman History Prize) and the bestselling, award-winning A History of the World in Twelve Maps, which has been translated into 12 languages.
The book will be available to buy from the Waterstones' stall at this event.