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Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World
by Ruby Lal
Ruby Lal explores domestic life and the place of women in the Mughal court of the sixteenth century. Challenging traditional, orientalist interpretations of the haram that have portrayed a domestic world of seclusion and sexual exploitation, she reveals a complex society where noble men and women negotiated their everyday life and public-political affairs. Combining ...more
Paperback, 241 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Cambridge University Press
(first published September 22nd 2005)
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Ruby Lal writes against received histories of "the harem," which portray it as a timeless, universal, den of eroticism entirely separate from the public world of politics. Her work is part of a larger feminist historiographical critique of the "public/private" dichotomy. In her book she examines the changes in the domestic world of the Mughals from the first peripatetic Emperor Babur to the establishment of a much more stable empire with Emperor Akbar. She shows that even when the harem comes to ...more