The Turkish Spy

  • C. J. Betts
Part of the Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Idees / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 104)


With Marana’s Espion turc, deistic ideas come nearer to the centre of the European stage than in the tales by Foigny and Veiras, but the new mode of expression, involving a foreign commentator on European ideas, was to be equally important for the propagation of deistic attitudes. Giovanni Paolo, or Jean Paul, Marana (1642–?1693) was of Genoese extraction and lived in France from about 1682 to 1689.1 In 1684 and 1686 he published two small volumes of letters, the first volume both in Italian and in French translation, under the title L’Espion du Grand Seigneur. The Ottoman Emperor’s spy, by the name of Mahmut, is supposed to have lived in Paris, in disguise, from 1637 to 1682. He sends reports to Constantinople on politics and current events in France, but corresponds privately on other subjects including religion, and adds stories and acecdotes for diversion.


Virtuous Conduct Early Volume Early Letter Ritual Observance Established Religion 
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  1. William H. McBurney, ’The Authorship of “The Turkish Spy” \ PMLA 72 (1957), 915 – 935.Google Scholar
  2. Guido Almansi, “L’Esploratore turco”, Studi secenteschi 7 (1966), 35 – 65Google Scholar
  3. Joseph E. Tucker, ‘On the Authorship of the Turkish Spy: an Etat Present’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 52 (1958), 34 – 57.Google Scholar
  4. G. Almansi and D.A. Warren, ’Roman epistolaire et analyse historique: 1 “Espion turc” de G.P. Marana’, Xviie Siecle 110 (1976), 57 – 73.Google Scholar
  5. Paul Verniere, Classiques Gamier (Paris, 1961).Google Scholar
  6. Almansi and Warren, Studi secenteschi 9 (1968), p. 216Google Scholar
  7. Robert Shackleton, Montesquieu: A Critical Biography (Oxford, 1961), pp. 87–88.Google Scholar
  8. Jan Lavicka, “ L’Espion turc, le monde slave et le hussitisme”, XviiE Siecle 110 (1976), 75 – 92Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1984

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  • C. J. Betts

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