In the Company of Franks: British Identifications in the Ottoman Empire, c. 1600

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This article explores how early modern English travellers viewed themselves in an ‘Ottoman mirror’ as both ‘Franks’ and Englishmen by tracing English responses to being identified by Muslims as European Christians and associated with Catholics. First, I will pay attention to contemporary definitions for Franks, second to how travellers reported being identified and treated by the Turks, and in addition, and through these depictions, to how they reacted to being associated with other Western Christians in the Levant. Travellers did not all agree on who or what was a Frank and showed signs of anxieties and insecurities about being associated with Catholics. As most of these traveller's texts were intentional public attempts at self-fashioning, they provide an excellent viewpoint from which to investigate how Englishmen both rejected and accepted a Western European Christian identity at a time when more and more Englishmen ventured outside Europe in their search for economic success.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Travel Writing
Issue number4
Pages (from-to) 363-374
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Franks, English travellers, Ottoman Empire, early modern travel, Christians, European identity, Muslims, Turks
  • 6122 Literature studies
  • travel, travel writing, Ottoman Empire, English literature

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