White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India

White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India

William Dalrymple


White Mughals is the romantic and eventually tragic story of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended the entire cultural, spiritual and political obstacles of its time.

James Achilles Kirkpatrick used to be the British Resident on the court docket of the Nizam of Hyderabad while in 1798 he glimpsed Kahir un-Nissa—'Most very good between Women'—the great-niece of the Nizam's best Minister and a descendant of the Prophet. Kirkpatrick had long past out to India as an bold soldier within the military of the East India corporation, desirous to make his identify within the conquest and subjection of the subcontinent. as an alternative, he fell in love with Khair and overcame many stumbling blocks to marry her—not least of which was once the truth that she was once locked away in purdah and engaged to an area nobleman. ultimately, whereas final Resident, Kirkpatrick switched over to Islam, and in line with Indian assets even turned a double-agent operating for the Hyderabadis opposed to the East India Company.

It is a striking tale, regarding mystery assignations, court docket intrigue, harem politics, non secular and kin disputes. yet such issues weren't unknown; from the early 16th century, while the Inquisition banned the Portuguese in Goa from donning the dhoti, to the eve of the Indian mutiny, the 'white Mughals' who wore neighborhood costume and followed Indian methods have been a resource of embarrassments to successive colonial administrations. William Dalrymple finds such vibrant figures as 'Hindoo Stuart', who travelled along with his personal staff of Brahmins to keep up his temple of idols, and who spent a long time attempting to convince the memsahibs of Calcutta to undertake the sari; and Sir David Ochterlony, Kirkpatrick's counterpart in Delhi, who took all 13 of his other halves out for night promenades, every one at the again in their personal elephant.

In White Mughals, William Dalrymple discovers an international nearly fullyyt unexplored via background, and locations at its centre a compelling story of affection, seduction and betrayal. It possesses the entire sweep and resonance of a very good nineteenth-century novel, set opposed to a heritage of moving alliances and the manoeuvring of the nice powers, the mercantile objectives of the British and the imperial desires of Napoleon. White Mughals, the manufactured from 5 years' writing and examine, triumphantly confirms Dalrymple's attractiveness as one of many best writers at paintings today.

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