Posts Tagged: MEMOs


‘In the spiced Indian air’: Trading coin and cloth in the empire of the Great Mughal

The spiced air of India was the stuff of legend in Shakespeare’s England, and is brought to vivid life in this famous passage from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” These were images which Shakespeare knew his audiences would understand, during a period in which England had begun its sea voyages to Asia in earnest, and the fabulous possibilities of directly accessing the merchandise of India were being realized for the first time.



A backpacker in the age of Shakespeare: Thomas Coryate at the court of the Mughal emperor

Thomas Coryate (c. 1577-1617) was one of the most widely traveled Englishmen of his day, motivated by curiosity, wanderlust, and fame. He served as a fascinating example of how early modern English travelers to the Islamic world might use their experiences overseas in an attempt to bolster their standing at home.