Britons in the Ottoman Empire, 1642-1660

Daniel Goffman

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  • Published: 1998
  • Subject Listing: Middle East Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 328 pp., maps, glossary, bibliog., index
  • Territorial rights: world
  • Series: Publications on the Near East
  • Contents

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 recreate 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 successor would forge into a great empire in Asia.

Daniel Goffman is professor of history at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
Note on Usage
The Proto-Imperialist
The Englishman and the Ottoman Other
Three English Settlements
English Traders on the Ottoman Frontier
The Ambassador's Gambit
Parliament or King?
Pretenders to the Ambassadorship
Adapting to the Ottoman Commercial World
The Sublime Porte, the Ambassador, and the Provinces
The Ambassador Besieged
The Commonwealth and the Levant
Uniformity Restored
Domestic Politics and Worlds Overseas