English, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Stephen Buhler. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2010
Copyright (c) 2010 Katie S. Sisneros


This thesis explores an important means for the non-noble and non-gentry population of England to read and interpret the figure of the Turk as textually represented: the broadside ballad. Cheap to print and produced on an expansive scale, broadside ballads had access to economic and geographic segments of England beyond the reach of the drama. Aimed at a far more general audience than theater-goers (especially during the Restoration period), broadside ballads provide an alternative literary interpretation of the Turk, one long-neglected in Anglo-Ottoman studies. Current scholarship’s almost-exclusive focus on drama has led to a progress narrative positing an evolution in scholarly literature from “simple and stereotypical” representations of Turks to “complex and flexible” ones. Bringing a genre tailored to an audience made up of different socio-economic groups into the discussion, I forego such evaluative language. Instead, I argue that dissimilar representations not only reveal how English people thought of Turks but also how economics and status functioned in public discourse in England.