© 2007

Islam and Early Modern English Literature

The Politics of Romance from Spenser to Milton

  • Authors

Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies book series (EMCSS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Benedict S. Robinson
    Pages 1-26
  3. Benedict S. Robinson
    Pages 27-56
  4. Benedict S. Robinson
    Pages 57-86
  5. Benedict S. Robinson
    Pages 87-115
  6. Benedict S. Robinson
    Pages 117-143
  7. Benedict S. Robinson
    Pages 145-181
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 183-236

About this book


This book traces the process through which authors like Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton adapted, rewrote, or resisted romance, mapping a world in which new cross-cultural contacts and religious conflicts demanded a rethinking of some of the most fundamental terms of early modern identity.


English literature identity Islam John Milton William Shakespeare

About the authors

BENEDICT ROBINSON is Assistant Professor of English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA.

Bibliographic information


"This is a masterful study, as historically learned and theoretically sophisticated as it is beautifully written." - Jonathan Gil Harris, Professor of English, The George Washington University

"With its sharply original reinvestigation of the uses of romance in sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature, Robinson's book is an important addition to the growing body of work on early modern representations of the Islamic world. Offering fresh perspectives on a number of key texts, from The Faerie Queen to Othello, The Tempest, and Paradise Lost, whilst ranging adventurously through a variety of less familiar material from writers as diverse as Munday, Greville, and Massinger, it should become required reading for anyone interested in the invention of the 'Orient. " - Michael Neill, Professor of English, University of Auckland

"An incisive and beautifully written account of the intersections between literary form and history in the early modern period. Arguing that romance constantly reimagines and is itself reshaped by cross-cultural encounters, Robinson shows how it inhabits a space that is at once transnational and at the heart of national identity. This book provides an original andcompelling postcolonial perspective on early modern literature and culture."

- Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania"The trope of Islam enjoyed wide currency in English literature, and modern literary analysis steadily peels away layer upon layer of its heuristic potential. Robinson's subtly argued study of early modern English romance is the most recent and quite engaging contribution to that growing field." - Sixteenth Century Journal