Knights in Arms: Prose Romance, Masculinity, and Eastern Mediterranean Trade in Early Modern England, 1565-1655
Drawing from medieval chivalric culture, the prose romance was a popular early modern genre featuring stories of courtship, combat, and travel. Flourishing at the same moment as the growing English trade with the Eastern Mediterranean, prose romances adopted both Eastern settings and new conceptions of masculinity – commercial rather than chivalric, erotic rather than militant.
Knights in Arms moves beyond the best-known examples of the genre, such as Philip Sidney’s Arcadia, to consider the broad range of texts which featured the Eastern Mediterranean in this era. Goran Stanivukovic highlights how eroticism within prose romances, particularly homoerotic desire, facilitated commercial, cross-ethnic, and cross-cultural interactions, shaping European knowledge and conceptions of the Mediterranean and the Ottoman Empire. Through his careful examination of these lesser known works, Stanivukovic sheds important light on early modern trade, Mediterranean politics, and the changing meaning of masculinity in an age of commercial expansion.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 288 pages
- Illustrations: 3
- Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.4in
‘This book takes an innovative and fascinating outlook on prose romances of the Eastern Mediterranean.’
Giulia M. Mari
Sixteenth Century Journal vol 68:01:2017
"Knights in Arms makes some very interesting and suggestive arguments, most notably about English efforts to bypass Persian middlemen along the Silk Road and England’s new trade with Turkey….Its topics and texts are both important and under-studied, and Stanikuvic makes a good case for his questions and perspectives."
Elizabeth Hodgson, University of British Columbia
University of Toronto Quarterly, vol 87 3, Summer 2018
“Knights in Arms is a smart and important study of the relationship between prose romance and Eastern Mediterranean trade that will compel critics to reassess their current understandings of early modern masculine identity and sexuality.”
Melissa Sanchez, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
“Knights in Arms extends and challenges leading interpretations of Renaissance romance from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including genre criticism, feminism, queer studies, and postcolonial accounts of orientalist discourses. With its extensive primary source research and its incisive interventions into critical and theoretical debates, this book presents a major and original contribution to literary and cultural studies of the early modern period.”
Bernadette Andrea, Department of English, University of Texas at San Antonio
Author InformationGoran Stanivukovic is a professor in the English Department at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Table of contents
Introduction: Mapping Territories
Part I: The Knight and Romances of Trade
1. Purchasing Kingdoms in the Eastern Mediterranean
2. The Knight on the Silk Road
3. The Marriage of Merchant Kingdoms in Romances of Men
Part II: Intimacy, Sexuality, and Queer Levant
4. Desire and Knightly Masculinity
5. Cruising the Eastern Mediterranean: The Knight, the Friend, the Favourite, and Homoerotic Romance
Afterword: Mediterranean Masculinities
Subjects and Courses