The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam
In 1570, with Catholic Spain and Rome breathing down her Protestant neck, Britain’s Elizabeth I turned to her enemies’ enemies, Morocco and Ottoman Turkey. The treaties and trade agreements she struck with these sultanates infuriated her Continental rivals while enriching Tudor England with “exotic commodities from Islamic lands that included cotton, rhubarb, currants ... and intricate textiles, as well as the Moroccan sugar” that Elizabeth consumed “in such copious quantities” it blackened her teeth, writes historian Jerry Brotton. As “Sultana Isabel” (her Moroccan title) dispatched envoys to major Muslim capitals, “Tudor fascination with the Islamic world” infused domestic English culture with clothing and carpets “after the Turkish fashion” and influenced the works of Marlowe and Shakespeare (e.g. Othello), among others.