Sean Lusk is the prize-winning author of the magical debut novel The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley, a Sunday Times Historical Fiction book of the month, and shortlisted for the Saltire Prize. Sean is also a prize-winning short story writer.
Sean has worked variously as a gardener, speechwriter, diplomatic official and policy advisor, living in Pakistan, Egypt, South Africa, Greece and lately in the Highlands of Scotland.
Sean Lusk is sponsored by
Out of Time...the strange death of the Levant Company
A clock found in a back alley in Istanbul led me to learn about the Levant trade in the 1750s, which features in my novel The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley.
Almost everyone knows something about the East India Company – its huge wealth, its corruption, its cruel excesses, and the long shadows of its legacy. Yet at one time, the Levant Company was just as renowned, holding a charter awarded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 for trade between England and the Levant, the Levant encompassing the Ottoman Empire and territories held at the time by the Venetian Republic.
Yet, just as the East India Company reached the peak of its powers in the late 18th century, the Levant Company entered a dramatic decline. Why? This talk will contrast the aggressive East India trade with the more benign (if ultimately unprofitable) practices of the Levant Company, as well looking at how war and disease created stark winners and losers in the increasingly global 18th century economy.