Romance was the preeminent narrative form through which medieval Christendom imagined its encounter with the world. But in the early modern period, religious war and commercial and colonial expansion radically changed the terms of that encounter. This book traces the process through which Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and others adapted, revised, or resisted romance, mapping a world of increasingly uncertain allegiances and affiliations. Early modern romance re-imagined the world, and in the process decisively rearticulated the relations between ?Christendom,? ?Islam,? and ?Europe.? By attending to genre, Robinson explores both the conflicts that formed early modern identities and the power of literary form to shape the world defined by those conflicts ? a power with effects that reach to our present moment.