If the three edicts that Elizabeth I promulgated between 1596 and 1601 to deport 'Negars and Blackamoors
' from England were met with resistance by English subjects, as Emily C.
Considering the reasonablenes of his requests to transport so many blackamoores
from hence, [we] doth thincke yt a very good exchange and that those kinde of people may be well spared in this realme ...
Among the topics are porcelain, secrecy, and the 18th-century culture of invention; French porcelain flowers and the rhetoric of the garnish; porcelain and theatrical display; the queen's necessaire; porcelain, print culture, and mercantile aesthetics; sugarboxes and blackamoors
: ornamental blackness in early Meisson porcelain; and relations between the Royal Academy of San Fernando and the Royal Porcelain Factory of the Buen Retiro.
date back to the time of slavery, and depict African men wearing jewels.
We know, for instance, that some Africans were brought to be trained as interpreters in 1555 and that in 1596 Queen Elizabeth decreed that all blackamoors
should be expelled from the land.
Queen Elizabeth had herself driven out the "blackamoors
" from her dominions in 1596 and again in 1601 (Habib 63-121); now it was the turn of the Jews/the various Marrano families to be expelled, too.
And that was not good for one of the meanings of "Ham" was "Black." The conjunction of "cursed' and "black," plus the fact that Ham's descendents spread through Africa and to the current Middle East, prompted the scenario for the British to describe Spaniards as "Blackamoors
." When Elizabeth I of England launched the campaign against the brutality of Spaniards against the Indians (known today as "the Black legend"), the Spanish were likened with "Blackamoors
" underlining the close connections between Spain and Muslims from North Africa (Greer, Mignolo and Quilligan, 2007).
At the time Shakespeare was writing Othello, she adds, Elizabeth I made a proclamation to the effect that Her Majesty was very concerned about the numbers of 'negars' and 'blackamoors
' "that are crept into the realm", taking the jobs and houses of her people.
Even Iago's supposed racism is merely performative, called up out of a more fundamental malice that feeds into any bias he can pretend to share with his victim--against "blackamoors
" with Brabantio, against women for Desdemona, against Florentines, against soldiers who were never in the trenches, against those with higher status--against anyone different or better off than he is.
The selection can be curious: Elizabeth I is given an extended going-over for her attempt to expel 'Blackamoors
', which failed.
Were I of Indian descent, I would not necessarily take offence at the characterization of Navarre, but the "little Indian boy (Sabu)" Moth and the parody of Dull as the dim-witted Indian policeman might give one pause* Neither Kahn's nor any other production that I have seen, of course, dares to actually follow the Q_F stage direction for the Masque of Muscovites: "Enter Blackamoors
with music, [MOTH,] the Boy, with a speech, and the rest of the lords disguised" (5.2.157 SD).
From the Middle Ages, the alleged blackness of Muslims (either 'tawny Moors' or 'blackamoors
') had had a clear ethical importance: blackness signified evil, or, in other words, blackness was the livery of malignity, a clear identifier that marked Africans as permanent others (Bak 1996: 208-12).
Bartels' book moves back and forth between the four chapters that offer close readings of these plays and the three other chapters that examine non-dramatic writings: Hakluyt's Navigations, Queen Elizabeth's letters ordering the deportation of "blackamoors
" from England, and Pory's translation of Leo Africanus's History and Description of Africa.
Scholars of early modern London recognize that globalization and xenophobia are often partners, as the city's growing immigrant populations knew all too well from the riots against foreign artisans, the Dutch Church libel, the edicts to expel "blackamoors
," or the slanders against Dr.