Pirates or Partners?

Famed as the home of the dreaded Barbary pirates, the ‘scourge of Christendom’, for many early modern Europeans and Britons, the Maghreb was a distant and terrifying place. Some, however, saw the corsairing states as legitimate military rivals, potential trading partners or allies, and even attractive places for migration and personal advancement.

Recently, History PhD student Nat Cutter presented for the SHAPS Fellows & Associates group on his research on Periodical News and the Transformation of the Maghreb in British Popular Thought, 1622–1714. Nat explores thousands of newspaper articles and letters from expatriates, the conflicting place of the Maghreb in Restoration-era British thought, and how periodical news and its detailed, up-to-date and often first-hand material helped promote a more positive, pragmatic and reciprocal view of the Maghreb in British society. 

You can now watch and listen to Nat’s fascinating talk on the player below.

Nat Cutter is a PhD candidate, researching the origins, experiences and influence of British expatriates in the Maghreb from 1660 to 1710. He received the 2019 SHAPS Fellows Group Annual History Essay Prize. He has published on the image of the Maghreb in British periodical news, and on social life and community among expatriates in Ottoman Tunis and Tripoli. You can find links to Nat’s work on his website.

Feature image: Richard William Seale, A Correct Chart of the Mediterranean Sea, from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Levant: From the latest and best Observations: for Mr. Tindal’s Continuation of Mr. Rapin’s History, 1745 via Wikimedia Commons