Dallam's Travels with an Organ to the Grand Signieur, 1599-1600

Read by Sue Anderson

(4.4 stars; 16 reviews)

Queen Elizabeth the First of England, the Grand Turk at Constantinople, and an organ builder named Thomas Dallam—quite a trio. In 1599, Elizabeth commanded master organ builder Dallam to construct and deliver to the Grand Signieur , as a present intended to garner trade and political advantages for England, a fantastic mechanical organ. Dallam’s wonder stood 16 feet high and was topped by a silver holly bush filled with blackbirds and thrushes that sung and shook their wings. Dallam kept a diary during his visit to Turkey, which included a sneak look through a grate at the Grand Turk’s concubines in the harem. “I stood so long looking upon them that (the guide) stamped with his foot to make me give over looking; the which I was very loath to do, for that sight did please me wondrous well.” Dallam’s ingenuous style and numerous adventures make for a highly enjoyable listen. - Summary by Sue Anderson (3 hr 51 min)


Departure - Meeting with Dunkirkers 11:08 Read by Sue Anderson
The Dunkirkers 10:55 Read by Sue Anderson
At Algiers 13:13 Read by Sue Anderson
Visit to a Monastery on the Island of Zante 23:34 Read by Sue Anderson
At Scanderoon 17:04 Read by Sue Anderson
Master Maye Taken Prisoner 16:13 Read by Sue Anderson
At Chios - A Bag of Garlic 16:30 Read by Sue Anderson
Entering the Dardanelles 15:39 Read by Sue Anderson
Arrival at Constantinople 13:41 Read by Sue Anderson
Taking the Organ to the Seraglio 17:46 Read by Sue Anderson
Dallam Plays the Organ for the Grand Signieur 16:06 Read by Sue Anderson
Dallam Has a Narrow Escape 18:40 Read by Sue Anderson
Journey Home Across Greece 19:51 Read by Sue Anderson
Trumpets Sounding, Home to London 20:55 Read by Sue Anderson


An interesting little bit of history...

(3 stars)

Travel narrative about a courtier of Elizabeth I, sent to deliver an organ to the Grand Turk. For Dallam, getting there’s not the problem. His problem is that he’s the only person in the court of the Great Turk who can play an organ, so the Grand Turk’s courtiers are quite determined he should never leave...

(4.5 stars)

A fascinating tale of an Englishman's experience of a strange culture. He was a man with an open mind and keen powers of observation. Most enjoyable.