Michael Murrin's Trade and Romance is one of the very few monographs that explore the impact of Asian travels upon Western literary imagination in the early stage of East-West contact. By locating the beginning of the Eastern influence in Chaucer's response to Marco Polo's travel reports in The Squire's Tale (c. 1400) and its culmination in Milton's Paradise Regained (1671), Murrin greatly expands the contact zone between East and West. This broad historical coverage is minutely woven into the vast geographical span that encompasses the Far East, the Middle East, Central Asia, India, and Southeast Asia at one sweep. It is against this grand historical and geographical backdrop that the three national portraits—the Mongols, Portuguese, and English, and the three core themes—“the role of Asia in Europe; knights and merchants; and geography” (p. 4)—take shape and meaning. The central drama of the book, that is, “trade and romance,” emerges naturally...

You do not currently have access to this content.