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The Rise of Oriental Travel
 
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The Rise of Oriental Travel
English Visitors to the Ottoman Empire, 1580-1720
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
31 Mar 2004
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£74.00
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9780333973646
||
 
 
31 May 2006
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£26.99
|Paperback Print on Demand
  
9780230003262
||
 
 
eBooks ebook on Palgrave Connect ebook available via library subscriptions ebook on ebooks.com 
 
 


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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This book retells the stories of how four seventeenth-century Englishmen journeyed around the Ottoman Mediterranean, from Istanbul through the Levant and Holy Land into Egypt, and across North Africa to the Regency of Algiers. Contrary to the hostile declamations of Protestant preachers, they all found much to admire, from the multi-culturalism of the Ottoman system to the food, weather and styles of life. Beginning with Thomas Dallam, the skilled artisan sent by Queen Elizabeth to present his clockwork organ to Sultan Mehmed III in 1599, Professor Gerald MacLean subsequently examines William Biddulph, chaplain to the Protestant expatriates of Aleppo, Henry Blount, a self-appointed intelligencer who was knighted in 1641, and 'T. S.', whose libidinal Adventures in Algerian captivity mark the nation's taste for historical and romantic fiction. The book closes with an examination of evidence for British women travelling in the Ottoman empire before Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
The story that emerges tells not of an encounter between a unitary 'Englishness' and some absolute Other, but rather richly varied evidence of how English travel writers from differing social, religious and educational backgrounds found common interest in the operations of Ottoman imperialism.
This is the first book to consider the contemporary historical setting of these visits as seen from the Ottoman side, and uses previously unpublished sources to show the importance of archival research for the study of travel literature. As the author explains, 'I have travelled in the footsteps of all four and have noted some instances of curious coincidence.'


Description

This book retells the stories of how four seventeenth-century Englishmen journeyed around the Ottoman Mediterranean, from Istanbul through the Levant and Holy Land into Egypt, and across North Africa to the Regency of Algiers. Contrary to the hostile declamations of Protestant preachers, they all found much to admire, from the multi-culturalism of the Ottoman system to the food, weather and styles of life. Beginning with Thomas Dallam, the skilled artisan sent by Queen Elizabeth to present his clockwork organ to Sultan Mehmed III in 1599, Professor Gerald MacLean subsequently examines William Biddulph, chaplain to the Protestant expatriates of Aleppo, Henry Blount, a self-appointed intelligencer who was knighted in 1641, and 'T. S.', whose libidinal Adventures in Algerian captivity mark the nation's taste for historical and romantic fiction. The book closes with an examination of evidence for British women travelling in the Ottoman empire before Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
The story that emerges tells not of an encounter between a unitary 'Englishness' and some absolute Other, but rather richly varied evidence of how English travel writers from differing social, religious and educational backgrounds found common interest in the operations of Ottoman imperialism.
This is the first book to consider the contemporary historical setting of these visits as seen from the Ottoman side, and uses previously unpublished sources to show the importance of archival research for the study of travel literature. As the author explains, 'I have travelled in the footsteps of all four and have noted some instances of curious coincidence.'


Reviews

'Elegantly written, and supported by Gerald MacLean's extensive archival research and travels in the Middle East and North Africa, The Rise of Oriental Travel shows the appeal which early modern Ottoman Islam held for English society. MacLean combines historical evidence with careful reading, and demonstrates how much the Mediterranean Islamic world was open to European Christians at a time when religious and racial prejudices in Christendom militated against Muslims realizing the self-knowledge, adventure and wealth of the four Englishmen in this book.' - Nabil I. Matar, Professor of English, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, USA

'Eight decades, four travellers, and two cultures in one book: Gerald MacLean tells the compelling story of fascinating encounters between English travellers and the Ottoman empire from the 1580's to the 1720's. A panoply of characters, attitudes, and experiences parades before our eyes...MacLean's scintillating interpretation of these travel narratives is the next best thing to time travel. We see through MacLean's skillful exposition the cultural exoticism represented by the Orient alongside a political critique of the incipient 'Orientalism' of these early accounts, making us realize that the Seventeenth-century represents an earlier phase of the West's longstanding obsession with the threat of political Islam.' - Srinivas Aravamudan, Author of Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688-1804, Duke University, USA

'A stunning achievement. MacLean has captured the experience of English travellers discovering for themselves that Islam was not ungodly, that Turks were not terrible, and that Christians and Muslims had no need for conflict. The best sort of travel book: History, politics, travel's pleasures and pains come vividly alive.' - Professor Ali Tablit, University of Algiers, Algeria

'By giving us a more complicated picture of England's encounters with the Islamic Mediterranean, MacLean challenges and questions a monolithic picture of the Eurocentricism of Renaissance culture. This stimulating book will be welcomed by historians, literary scholars, and anyone interested in the history of travel writing.' - David Loewenstein, Marjorie and Lorin Tiefenthaler Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
Reviews of the hardback edition

'...an unusually detailed and well-placed account of some fascinating cross-cultural encounters in the period between Shakespeare and Milton...MacLean's approach is refreshingly direct; he treats his four authors not as pawns on a chessboard of theory, but as human beings whose characters and experiences are of intrinsic interest...this is a fascinating and stimulating book, written with enthusiasm, skill, and an appealing sense of human sympathy.' - Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

'The Rise of Oriental Travel is a beautifully written monograph on the attitudes which sixteenth - and seventeenth - century Westerners revealed as they explored the Ottoman Empire.' - Times Literary Supplement

'...a lively and enjoyable book.' - Kostas Yiavis, Selwyn College, Cambridge, UK

'Fascinatingly detailed, gorgeously illustrated, with copius notes, it evidences the author's enthusiasm to retrace the itineraries of a handful of travellers who, more often than not, acted as agents of a rising empire, witnessing the workings of a great one during a decisive period of early colonial British expansion.' - Studies in Travel Writing, Pere Gifra-Adroher


Contents

Dedication
Prologue
Preface
Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
PART I: DALLAM'S ORGAN: BY SEA TO CONSTANTINOPLE, 1599
Thomas Dallam
On First Setting Out
Mediterranean Encounters
Istanbul
PART II: BIDDULPH'S MINISTRY: TRAVELS AROUND ALEPPO, 1600-12
William Biddulph's Anxiety of Authorship
Preacher Among the Diplomats
Troublesome Travelling Churchmen
Journey to Aleppo
Biddulph's Lessons from Aleppo
Journey to Jerusalem
PART III: BLOUNT'S VOYAGE: THE OTTOMAN LEVANT, 1634-36
Sir Henry Blount, 1602-1682
On Becoming a Passenger
The Sinews of Empire: Venice to Istanbul
Ottoman Egypt: African Empire in Ruins
PART IV: "T.S." IN CAPTIVITY: NORTH AFRICAN SLAVERY, 1648-70
T.S.'s Adventures and Restoration England
Captive Agency
For the Vainglory of Being a "Traveller"
Slavery in Algiers
On Tour With the Ottoman Army
Tlemcen: Life in a Desert City
Epilogue: What About the Women, Then?
The Strange Case of Anne, Lady Glover
Notes
Bibliography
Index


Authors

GERALD MACLEAN is Anniversary Professor at the University of York and Visiting Professor at Bosphorous University, Istanbul, Turkey, and the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK.