The Whispers of Cities: Information Flows in Istanbul, London, and Paris in the Age of William…

Hardcover | January 12, 2014

byJohn-Paul A. Ghobrial

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In recent years, global historians have painted an impressionistic picture of what they call the "connected world" of the seventeenth century. Inspired perhaps by the globalised world in which they write, scholars have emphasised how the circulation of people, objects, and ideas linked thedistant reaches of the early modern world. Yet for all the advocates of such a 'connected history', we are only beginning to make sense of what global connectedness meant in practice in the lives of ordinary people.To this end, The Whispers of Cities explores interactions between early modern Europe and the Ottoman Empire through the kaleidoscope of communication. It does so by focusing on how information flows linked Istanbul, London, and Paris in the late seventeenth century. Because individuals were at theheart of communication, the book offers a micro-historical reading of the experiences of Sir William Trumbull, English ambassador to Istanbul from 1687 to 1692. It follows Trumbull as he was transformed from a civil lawyer and state official in London to a European notable at the heart of Ottomansocial networks in Istanbul. In this way, The Whispers of Cities reveals how information flows between Istanbul, London, and Paris were rooted in the personal encounters that took place between Ottomans and Europeans in everyday communication. At the intersection of global history and the history of communication, therefore, the author argues that worlds of information tied Europeans to their Ottoman counterparts long before the age of modernisation, as news, stories, and even fictions transcended linguistic and confessional boundariesand connected people across Europe and the Mediterranean world. What emerges here is a picture of globalization that is as much about networks, flows, and circulation as it is about the imperfections, asymmetries, and unevenness of connectedness in the early modern world.

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In recent years, global historians have painted an impressionistic picture of what they call the "connected world" of the seventeenth century. Inspired perhaps by the globalised world in which they write, scholars have emphasised how the circulation of people, objects, and ideas linked thedistant reaches of the early modern world. Yet ...

John-Paul A. Ghobrial is a University Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Balliol College. He studied at Tufts, Oxford, and Princeton, and he has also taught at the University of Cambridge. He is an historian of the Middle East with a special interest in exchanges between Europe and the Ottoman...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:January 12, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199672415

ISBN - 13:9780199672417

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: 1688: Istanbul, London, Paris1. The World of Sir William Trumbull2. Other Ways of Knowing3. European-Ottoman Sociability in Istanbul4. Overcoming Distance in Everyday Communication5. The Life of a Story: The Deposition of Mehmed IV in 1687Conclusion