The Sultan's Organ by John Mole

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In 1598 merchants of the City of London paid for a Present to be given by Queen Elizabeth to Sultan Mehmet III of Turkey. In return the merchants hoped to secure trading concessions, and the Virgin Queen to turn the Sultan's military might on her Spanish enemies. The Present was a carved, painted and gilded cabinet about sixteen feet high, six feet wide and five feet deep. It contained a chiming clock with jewel-encrusted moving figures combined with an automatic organ, which could play tunes on its own for six hours - or by hand to the point of exhaustion. The Present was dismantled and dispatched on a merchant ship early in 1599. It took six months to get from London to Constantinople. With it went four craftsmen. They were Thomas Dallam the organ builder, John Harvey the engineer, Michael Watson the carpenter and Rowland Buckett the painter. Dallam was just twenty four years old. On their odyssey they encountered storms, volcanoes, exotic animals, foreign food, good wine, pirates, brigands, Moors, Turks, Greeks, Jews, beautiful women, barbarous men, kings and pashas, armies on the march, janissaries, eunuchs, slaves, dwarves and finally the most powerful man in the known world, the Great Turk himself. Faithfully translated into modern prose, unembellished and unedited, this illuminating historical source reads as if its Elizabethan author were alive today.

About John Mole

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John Mole has published three comic novels - Sail or Return, The Monogamist and Thanks, Eddie! In 1992 He published Mind Your Manners, a guide to the business cultures of the new Europe. In 2004 he published a travel memoirs, It's All Greek To Me! followed by I Was A Potato Oligarch in 2008. His latest novel is The Quest for Helen, a traveler's tale set in Ottoman Greece He lives in London and Greece.
Published December 14, 2011 by Fortune Books. 112 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Travel, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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