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Texts, contexts and influence
Matthew Dimmock

In the search for Sir John Mandeville that occupies Giles Milton's The Riddle and the Knight (1996), Milton identifies a range of connections and differences between the 'religions of the book' (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) with the intention of indicating Christian legitimacy in opposition to misguided Islam and demonised Judaism. Regardless of the nature of Mandeville's reflections, there is no doubt that his presentation of Islam was hugely influential. Milton chooses not to refer to Mandeville's depiction of the Prophet Muhammad; this is the focus of this chapter. The chapter considers the source for a small part of The Travels. It is concerned with the uneven character of Mandeville's conception of Islam and Muhammad. The portrayal of Islam in Mandeville's Travels appears ambivalent - the emphasis upon religious common ground between Islam and Christianity does not demonise with the same polemic found in many contemporary texts.

in A knight’s legacy