The article adopts a historicist approach in its focus on the representations of Eastern women in Early Modern English Literature. It explores specific historical documents and literary texts of sixteenth and seventeenth centuries published in England, for the light that they shed on the manners and mores of oriental societies, particularly those of Muslim nations like that of the Turks,
Persians and Central Asian royal households. The unique perspective taken by the cited British playwrights, travelers, diplomatic and trade missions, sheds some light on the underlying motives of the early anthropological and sociological studies of the Eastern nations at that early stage of Anglo -oriental negotiations in the context of the role played by women who were consorts of Kings and Sultans. In doing so this article raises questions about present day feminist assumptions of western critics writing in the post-colonial era who have not taken sufficient notice of this pre-colonial period when the imperial powers lay in the Eastern part of the world, and the British were not a significant imperial presence in the East.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Prof. Dr. Farhana Wazir Khan