'Thou glorious kingdome, thou chiefe of empires': Persia in seventeenth-century travel literature
Houston, C. (2009) 'Thou glorious kingdome, thou chiefe of empires': Persia in seventeenth-century travel literature. Studies in Travel Writing, 13 (2). pp. 141-152. ISSN 1755-7550
To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/13645140902857240
Bringing together a range of little-considered materials, this article assesses the portrayal of Persia in seventeenth-century travel literature and drama. In particular it argues that such texts use their awareness of Islamic sectarian division to portray Persia as a good potential trading partner in preference to the Ottoman Empire. A close reading of John Day, William Rowley and George Wilkins’ The Travailes of the Three English Brothers (1607) demonstrates how the play develops a fantasy model of how relations between Persia and England might function. The potential unity between England and Persia, imagined in terms of both religion and trade, demonstrates how Persia figured as a model ‘other England’ in early modern literature.