Monday, March 17, 2008

"White Mughals" By William Dalrymple

"White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-century India" is a marvellous non-fictional work by Dalrymple. The sheer detailness and vastness of the subject shows meticulous research done by William Dalrymple for this book.

The book is set in late 18th century and early 19th century India and tells the romantic affair and marriage between James Achilles Kirkpatrick, East India Company resident in Nizam's Hyderabad, and Khair-un-Nisa, a Hyderabadi nobleman's grand-daughter. I think I have put it very much in simple terms but this book is more than this love affair. It is a research into complex East India working during those early days as well as a research into their complex administrators and office bearers. It is a research into cultural, religious and political state-of-affairs from Indian perspective. It is a research into Nizam's & Maratha's political clout at that time as well as English and French impact on it. The book is solely based on historical archives from those times - never once Dalrymple tries to put unnecessary words into the main character's mouth. It is really a remarkable feat considering the sensational nature of the topic itself.

A great book and must read for anyone who likes to read about Indian history as well as Anglo-Indian legacy with East India Company.

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