White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India
James Achilles Kirkpatrick was the British Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad when in 1798 he glimpsed Kahir un-Nissa--'Most excellent among Women'--the great-niece of the Nizam's P ...more
A grand, slow-moving procession through 18th-century India
Stately processions are a leit motif in William Dalrymple's epic account of a doomed love affair between James Kirkpatrick, a British East India Company resident, and Khair un-Nissa, great-niece of Hyderabad’s chief minister. Midway through the book, for example, he quotes a source describing the massive pilgrimage for the annual festival of Mawlah Ali:
“Some 3,000 elephants, as well as some 50,000 horses and load-bearing camels, with stal
This is the sort of book that demolishes all of your old notions of 'how it happened'. I read into the wee hours of the night and as I finished the book this morning I instantly went back to the beginning to work my way th ...more
The book sheds a light on late eighteenth and nineteenth century life and politics of princely state of Hyderabad. From the Nizam to the power brokering imperialist British to a commoner in the street, on ...more
This is the story of James Achilles Kirkpatrick and Khair un-Nissa who converted to Islam and married her despite the opposition from both cultural sides.
Even being the British representative at the court of Nizam of Hyderabad, he also became a double agent, working for the Nizam against the East India Company.
Clive needed to know the truth about the East India Company's Resident at the court of Hyderabad, James Achilles Kirkpatrick.
India has ...more
It gave me great pleasure reading it.
Until the first decade of the 19th century, Europeans living in India had no difficulties with cohabiting and having sexual relations with the local Indians, whom they encountered. Many of ...more
1) As always, my recommendation is that ONLY if you are a history buff, pick it up. It is a detailed documentation of Mughal, Hyderabadi, and English era, and you don't ...more
As an Indian, we ha ...more
One of my all time favourite writers at the top of his game. This is how narrative non-fiction is done. Period. ...more
The British East India Company and the Nizam ...more
I'm not exactly sure how to describe the genre of this book to people though. I would probably describe it as history/biography of a romance that took place in 18th centur ...more
He also paints an interesting picture of English views towards India and vice versa, and how they evolved over time fr ...more
At the centre of this era, Dalrymple has described and writt ...more
Staying at Kolkata has lot of advantages as I am discovering recently. The city is quite serious about reading books and hence I do not have to venture out to Oxford Bookstore or Crossword to buy a book. Within the 6 months at office, our office has arranged 2 book fairs. However, I was a bit disappointed to see the categories of books being bought by junta. Maximum number of copies were reserved for Harry Potter, Pa ...more
Friend of the Nizam, and an ardent lover of the Indian culture he came in contact w ...more
The depth of scholarship is mind-boggling. I read every footnote and learned something from each one, but as I'd read it I'd think, How did Dalrymple learn so much about all these obscure people? So many of the sources are in Persian, too.
I came away with so much more understanding of the Mughal culture and how Islam expressed so differently in India during the M ...more
Wonderful book to read if you are interested in Indian history but can't read through some of the textual, verbose and factual books you usually find on Indian history.. books that my dad would love, but I find the writing styles extremely difficult to relate to.
It was refreshing to read about a culture crossover at that time and age. WD's curiosity as to how after being in India for 300 year ...more