Engaging with current debates about the “clash of civilizations,” this book offers a novel challenge to the notion of a monolithic Islam in opposition to a monolithic West. The essays in this book analyze a range of genres—travel narrative, canonical and non-canonical drama, and prose romance—to consider geographical areas beyond the Ottoman Empire, including Mughal India, Safavid Persia, and the Muslim regions of Southeast and Central Asia. This collection deepens our post-Saidian understanding of the complexity of real and imagined “traffic” between England and the “Islamic worlds” it encountered and constructed.
"This is a very strong collection that will add significantly to current scholarship on Anglo-Islamic relations in the Early Modern period. It goes beyond the obsession with the Ottoman Turks in early modern writing, to demonstrate the importance of Arabs, Persians, Tartars, Mughals, and other Muslims. The methodology is strongly historicist (in the best sense of that word), providing rich and fascinating contextualizations of early modern written texts." - Daniel Vitkus, Professor of English, Florida State University
"Early Modern England and Islamic Worlds offers brilliant and nuanced insights into English literary negotiations with Islamic cultures, political Islam, and Islam as a religion in the early modern period. Overall, it provides an important corrective to the anti-Islamic notions of a clash of civilizations." - Jyotsna G. Singh, Professor of English, Michigan State University
"Documenting the English views of Muslims in multiple and contradictory ways, sometimes sympathetically, this welcome volume contests reactionary oppositions of East and West and offers nuanced analyses of various Islamic worlds, of their traffic with European economies and cultures, and of their variegated literary and theatrical representations in early modern England. [This volume] contributes valuably to a stimulating cluster of essays that interrogate Ottoman, Persian, and Mughal cultures and open fresh perspectives on an illuminating range of canonical and lesser known English works." - Richmond Barbour, Professor of English, Oregon State University