This is the transcript of episode 5 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.
Welcome back to Human Circus, and welcome back to my series on the life and times of Thomas Dallam, with the emphasis thus far squarely on the times and the life aspect rather lacking. Today, in exciting news, Dallam has arrived. At last, he will leave London for the court of the sultan, Mehmed III, and we’ll be talking about it. If this is your first time listening to the podcast, you won’t know why this is so exciting for me, but you see, I initially picked out Dallam’s story as an interesting one to cover back when I was talking about Schiltberger and Timur. I thought this would make a nice one or two parter, a man sails to Constantinople with an organ, quick and easy. Further reading on the subject led to what was basically a six episode prequel, on Elizabethan engagement with the Islamic world and on how those worlds were not so distinct as we might imagine, a story within the story of 16th-century globalization you could say. But now it’s Dallam time; there’ll be sailing and piracy and the sight of new lands. First though, let’s recap.