The Secret History of Elizabeth I's Alliance With Islam
Catholic Europe shunned England so the Protestant queen traded with its enemies—and changed her country's culture forever.
In 1570, Elizabeth I was in a bind. She had been excommunicated by the Pope, and her country was shunned by the rest of Europe. To avoid ruin, England needed allies. The queen sought help from a surprising source: the Islamic world.
The Tudor period has supplied endless popular entertainments—from Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth movies to the television series The Tudors—but this story has rarely been told. Jerry Brotton explores the forgotten history of English-Muslim alliances in his new book The Sultan and the Queen. Speaking from his home in Oxford, England, Brotton explains why Elizabeth believed Islam and Protestantism had more in common with each other than with Catholicism and how this cultural exchange may have