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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turkish delights, 26 Aug 2002
This review is from: Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Paperback)
In 1603, Ahmad al-mansur, the then king of Morocco, made a proposal to his English ally, Elizabeth I. Had Elizabeth accepted, the plan would have completley changed the history of the modern world. The idea that he submitted was elementary: England should help the moors conolise America.
The king suggested that Moroccan and English ships, should together attack the Spanish colonies in America, expel their hated Spanish enemies and then "possesse" the land and keep it "under our [joint] dominion forever". There was a catch, however. It would be more sensible, suggested the king, that most of the future colonists should be Moroccan rather than English. Inevitably, the Moroccan offer was not taken up by Her Majesty.
This forgotten meeting of East and West is a subject that Matar has made uniquely his own, and in doing so, he has radically changed our perception of Elizabethan England's relations with the wider world. Rather than looking solely at literary works, Matar has delved exhaustively into the archives to produce a magnificent patchwork of forgotten prison memoirs government documents and Arabic chronicles and histories. The reason why I have given this only 4 stars, is the fact that the book has an overlong slightly unconvincing section linking English stereotypes of the North American Indians with the beginnings of Orientalism. However, as a feat of research alone, this book is a small miracle!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive views and knowledge, 27 July 2011
This review is from: Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Paperback)
I first read this book 9-10 years ago and found it totally compelling reading and informative as it is well written,this book is unique in more ways than one because of the historical record it gives but from an "Anglo-centric" perspective is so because of the distances and the centuries it covers and this includes our most import fact that it is depictive of our worlds before the days when "our" Britain was a world "Empire" ruling over vast territories and peoples who were Moslem by religion but not "Turks or Moros" (Moors) this in itself sheds vast light on the days before the Clipper Ships of Empire and The Raj ,WW1 and 2" not to mention Global relations now within The United Kingdom.To the "political innocent or the Worldly wise" I still highly recommend it largely for its charm and detail,good intention and the information it departs which I find almost as "miraculous" as the Type writer and Alphabet that are Our great "Inheritance" from the 'Other' side of Europe namely the Christian Arabic world that 'succeeds' that of 'The Phoenicians' that has remained 'Christian throughout' yet is 'Arabic in Language' and of which is least known yet deserves a recognition that conflict has denied it as much as the Conflicts which so greatly tear at the 'also important ' lives of the Islamic world. This book is a great read and recommended in 'Rain or Shine'. !
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Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery
Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery by Nabil Matar (Paperback - 24 Nov 2000)
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