This is the transcript of my episode on Edward Webbe, Elizabethan merchant, adventurer, master gunner, and, perhaps, liar. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.
Welcome to Human Circus. Today, we open a new book, and we begin a new journey. Actually, we’ll end a new journey too. This isn’t going to be a repeat of the Dallam series, with the conclusion getting further and further away, the longer we go. Today, it’s a stand-alone episode.
Let’s start at the title page. There, we read: “The Rare and most wonderful things which Edward Webbe an Englishman borne, hath seen and passed in his troublesome travels, in the cities of Jerusalem, Damascus, Bethlehem, and Galilee; and in the lands of Jewry, Egypt, Grecia, Russia, and in the land of Prester John. Wherein is set forth his extreme slavery sustained many years together, in the galleys and in the wars of the great Turk against the lands of Persia, Tartaria, Spain, and Portugal, with the manner of his releasement, and coming into England in May last.” We’ve definitely lost something in the way we describe our books since then.
Continue reading Transcript: Edward Webbe
This is the transcript of episode 1 of my podcast series on, and leading up to, Thomas Dallam, the Elizabethan organ builder who sailed to Constantinople with a gift for the Sultan. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.
“The ship wherein I was to make my voyage to Constantinople, Lying at Graves End, I departed from London in a pair of ores, with my chest and such provision as I had provided for that purpose, the ninth of February 1599, being Friday.”
So begins the travel journal of a man on the cusp of a 15-month adventure. Its writer was no professional sailor, soldier, merchant or ambassador, but he was entrusted with the international delivery of a very special package. He seems never to have left England before, but on that February day, he was leaving for the court of the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed the 3rd.
Continue reading Thomas Dallam 1 – Transcript
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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