Britons in the Ottoman Empire, 1642-1660
- List Price: $50.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Washington Pr
- Publish date: 01/01/1998
The Englishman abroad is often viewed as the imperialist incarnate, an image perhaps not so far from certain 19th-century realities. Yet consider the English merchant or diplomat who ventured to Asia in the 17th century. Up against the huge, powerful, and refined Ottoman state, he was but a feeble and barely countenanced outsider. Far from bending the Ottoman Empire to English will, it was the English adventurer who had to conform -- and who sometimes found himself used for the Ottomans' political and military ends.
In this book, historian Daniel Goffman uses a wealth of English and Ottoman primary sources to re-create the lives of some of the Englishmen who adapted -- or failed to adapt -- to life, commerce, and politics in the Ottoman Empire during the turmoil of the civil wars and interregnum at home. In describing the dramas of intrigue, shifting allegiances, and self-interest in which these Englishmen became embroiled, Goffman shows how they accommodated themselves to a profoundly foreign society. They fused themselves into the great diversity that was the Ottoman realm and laid the groundwork for a commercial and diplomatic network that their successors would forge into a great empire in Asia.