The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857
Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, an accomplished poe...more
Publishers: Penguin Viking
Published In: 2006
Price: Rs 695
BY Sandhya Iyer
Last glow of light
Being fairly intrigued by Mughal history, Dalrymple has always been one author whose books I’ve wanted to read. I missed out on his White Mughals but got an opportunity to read The Last Mughal and must say, it turned out to be every bit the rich, luxuriant and fascinating experience I imagined it to be.
I must confess here that I have no problems w...more
The Mughal Empire was known for its tolerance and usually treated Muslims and Hindus equally. At the end of the Delhi battle, the Muslims get the lion's share of the blame while mainly high-caste Hindu sepoys comprised the majority of the rebel forces and were the primary instigators. The Hindus re...more
I cannot help but recall these words, after reading William Dalrymple's brilliant
"The Last Mughal".
William Dalrymple's latest book uses Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last emperor of the Mughal dynasty, to recreate the vibrant city of Delhi, in the 1850's. A culturally diverse, almost cosmopolitan city, of which Bahadur Shah...more
The book is about Delhi during the Indian Mutiny of 1857, and about the fall of the Mughals. I came out of reading this book disgusted and angry with both sides, and very sad for all the horrible things that happened in Delhi at that time. To think that Chandni Chowk, my favorite spot in Delhi, was the place of su...more
William Dalrymple, in my opinion, took on a lot when he chose to write a book about the Revolution of 1857. It's a subject visited in Indian history books many, many times, and most people (myself included) think they already know everything there is to be said about that event.
The beautiful thing, though, is that he proved me completely wrong, by retelling the tale in a whole new way. Fundamentally, he did two things. First, he used multiple so...more
Reading history probably could not be more interesting. An intriguing narration of the 1957 Sepoy Mutiny. Documenting the events in the way a modern journalist reports about war or a terror strike, William Dalrymple has narrated the events and the circumstances leading to the mutiny, the mutiny itself, the causes of its failure and the aftermath, even assuming its effect in the shaping of India.
What makes the reading a pleasure is the simple and sometime humorous tone Dalrymple has taken to desc...more
The first half of the book is nothing short of intoxicating; Dalrymple's descriptions of old Mughal Delhi are amazing, and he does a good job of getting across the tenor of relations between the British and the Muslims, as well as between the Muslims and the Hindus, and how they changed in the first half of the nineteenth century. Certainly it is ama...more
What actually happened during and before 1857 which led to the biggest uprising against imperialist Britain? Was it Mangal Pandey who first took up his arms against his masters? Or, there was some deeper conspiracy? How beautiful was Delhi and what of it remained? This is the book that answers these questions, clears some wrong ideas and most importantly elaborates the splendour and grandeur of the Mughal Delhi. It tells a tale which is not heroic or epi...more
He visits 19th century delhi and takes you along for the ride. You live amidst the delhi elite, taste their luxury, hear their rumors, and feel their fear. Even though a brit himself Darlymple never seems biased. He dwells elaborately on the prejudice of the company personell and the dying breed of those whom he calls "the white mughals". Whites who have adapted the lifstyle of the delhi elite... people like ochterloney, the frasers & the skinners who live in t...more
The problem with this book is its length and complexity. There is just too much detail and too many characters to make it really readable; I think the author needed an...more
I particularly liked his use of primary sources from multiple sides of the conflict. If Delhi is his subject, then the tragedy of intolerance and fundamentalism is his theme, as Dalrymple charts the rise of...more