We begin the journey of Thomas Dallam, Elizabethan organ-maker and ill-prepared ambassador to the Ottoman Sultan. This first episode, we’re not actually going to get to Dallam though. We’re setting the stage, introducing some of the background, and following a man named Jenkinson to Safavid Persia. Jenkinson is an interesting figure in his own right, and it’s also a way to dip into the world of trade and diplomacy that Dallam was going to find himself in.
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Apologies for my slowness in updating this. I was on vacation, and despite my genuine hopes and plans to get some work done while away, even if only on the plane, I of course did no such thing. Couple that with my general sluggishness in getting back up to speed with things and it’s been a bit of a while getting this next series going. But that time is now over, and the next episode is on the immediate horizon, this weekend I think.
The next series, which I initially fondly imagined would be a quick one-off, will be 5 episodes built around the travels of Thomas Dallam, 16th/17th century organ maker and unlikely ambassador to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed III. There will be piracy, palace intrigue, and the amusing observations of this extremely inexperienced traveller. It will however take us a few episodes to get there. We’ll be talking about the context of his journey, and that will take us back to earlier English efforts at trade and diplomacy and the bizarre career of Anthony Jenkinson, a man who travelled widely and met with Sultans, Shahs, and Tsars. He’ll be the focus of the first episode, coming soon, very soon.
Until then, D.