Propolis Books, the publishing imprint of The Book Hive, is delighted to announce the publication of it's new title, The Sultan's Organ, by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.
When Thomas Dallam, a young organ builder from north-west England, was commissioned to build a musical clockwork marvel, jewel encrusted and with a multitude of wondrous moving parts, he found himself acting as ambassador for Elizabeth I. The organ was to be a gift for the mighty Ottoman Sultan, intended to buy his favour and cement England’s trading rights across his empire, and Dallam was instructed to present it to the Sultan in person.
Closely following the detailed diary he kept during his year-long voyage, The Sultan’s Organ reveals the extraordinary world Dallam travelled to as he sailed through the Mediterranean and Levant before eventually arriving at the beating heart of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople.
The people and places he encounters - from the pirates of Algiers to the inside of the Sultan’s harem itself - introduce us to a charming and erudite man of his age, as well as shedding light on a part of the world which remains to this day a beguiling, fascinating and challenging place to understand.
Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy was born in Edinburgh in 1933. He read history at Trinity College, Cambridge, before working in advertising and publishing. He has written over twenty books, including an autobiography Half an Arch, (winner of the JR Ackerley prize), Kinsey: Sex The Measure Of All Things which was adapted into a successful film starring Liam Neeson, The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny, A Life of Gerald Brenan and The Public School Phenomenon 587-1977. He lives in North Norfolk with his wife, the artist Nicky Loutit.
Praise for Gathorne-Hardy's previous work:
'Marvellously researched and beautifully written.' W. H. Auden
'Enough to delight the sternest critic.' Auberon Waugh
6.30 for 7.00pm