In 1570, when it became clear she would never be gathered into the Catholic fold, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope. On the principle that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend', this marked the beginning of an extraordinary English alignment with the Muslim powers who were fighting Catholic Spain in the Mediterranean, and of cultural, economic and political exchanges with the Islamic world of a depth not experienced again until the modern age. England signed treaties with the Ottoman Porte, received ambassadors from the kings of Morocco and shipped munitions to Marrakesh. By the late 1580s hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Elizabethan merchants, diplomats, sailors, artisans and privateers were plying their trade from Morocco to Persia. They included the resourceful mercer Anthony Jenkinson who met both Süleyman the Magnificent and the Persian Shah Tahmasp in the 1560s, William Harborne, the Norfolk merchant who became the first English ambassador to the Ottoman court in 1582 and the adventurer Sir Anthony Sherley, who spent much of 1600 at the court of Shah Abbas the Great. The previous year, remarkably, Elizabeth sent the Lancastrian blacksmith Thomas Dallam to the Ottoman capital to play his clockwork organ in front of Sultan Mehmed. The awareness of Islam which these Englishmen brought home found its way into many of the great cultural productions of the day, including most famously Marlowe's Tamburlaine, and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice. The year after Dallam's expedition the Moroccan ambassador, Abd al-Wahid bin Mohammed al-Annuri, spent six months in London with his entourage. Shakespeare probably began to write Othello six months later. This Orient Isle shows that England's relations with the Muslim world were far more extensive, and often more amicable, than we have appreciated, and that their influence was felt across the political, commercial and domestic landscape of Elizabethan England. It is a startlingly unfamiliar picture of part of our national and international history.
An eye-opening history of Britain and the Islamic world—a thousand-year relationship that is closer, deeper, and more mutually beneficial than is often recognized In this broad yet sympathetic survey—ranging from the Crusades to the modern day—Martin Pugh explores the social, political, and cultural encounters between Britain and Islam. He looks, for instance, at how reactions against the Crusades led to Anglo-Muslim collaboration under the Tudors, at how Britain posed as defender of Islam in the Victorian period, and at her role in rearranging the Muslim world after 1918. Pugh argues that, contrary to current assumptions, Islamic groups have often embraced Western ideas, including modernization and liberal democracy. He shows how the difficulties and Islamophobia that Muslims have experienced in Britain since the 1970s are largely caused by an acute crisis in British national identity. In truth, Muslims have become increasingly key participants in mainstream British society—in culture, sport, politics, and the economy.
Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018 A Book of the Year for the Evening Standard and the Observer A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose. From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable stories of Africans who lived free in Tudor England... They were present at some of the defining moments of the age. They were christened, married and buried by the Church. They were paid wages like any other Tudors. The untold stories of the Black Tudors, dazzlingly brought to life by Kaufmann, will transform how we see this most intriguing period of history.
'Hard headed, well informed and intellectually coherent ... it turns conventional wisdom on its head. It deserves to promote a public debate on this subject which has been needed for more than 20 years' Peter Oborne Britain has often found groups within its borders whom it does not trust, whom it feels have a belief, culture, practice or agenda which runs contrary to those of the majority. From Catholics to Jews, miners to trade unionists , Marxists to liberals and even homosexuals, all have at times been viewed, described and treated as 'the enemy within'. Muslims are the latest in a long line of 'others' to be given this label. How did this state of affairs come to pass? What are the lessons and challenges for the future - and how will the tale of Muslim Britain develop? Sayeeda Warsi draws on her own unique position in British life, as the child of Pakistani immigrants, an outsider, who became an insider, the UK's first Muslim Cabinet minister, to explore questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of 'British values'. Uncompromising and outspoken, filled with arguments, real-life experience, necessary truths and possible ways forward for Muslims, politicians and the rest of us, this is a timely and urgent book. 'This thoughtful and passionate book offers hope amid the gloom' David Anderson QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation 'A vital book at a critical time' Helena Kennedy QC
Tudor and Stuart Seafarers tells the compelling story of how a small island positioned on the edge of Europe transformed itself into the world's leading maritime power. In 1485, England was an inward-looking country, its priorities largely domestic and European. Over the subsequent two centuries, however, this country was transformed, as the people of the British Isles turned to the sea in search of adventure, wealth and rule. Explorers voyaged into unknown regions of the world, while merchants, following in their wake, established lucrative trade routes with the furthest reaches of the globe. At home, people across Britain increasingly engaged with the sea, whether through their own lived experiences or through songs, prose and countless other forms of material culture. This exquisitely illustrated book delves into a tale of exploration, encounter, adventure, power, wealth and conflict. Topics include the exploration of the Americas, the growth of worldwide trade, piracy and privateering and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, brought to life through a variety of personalities from the well-known – Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake and Samuel Pepys – to the ordinary sailors, dockyard workers and their wives and families whose lives were so dramatically shaped by the sea.