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White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India Paperback – 27 Apr 2004
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From The New Yorker
At the end of the eighteenth century, James Achilles Kirkpatrick, the promising young British Resident at the Shia court of Hyderabad, fell in love with Khair un-Nissa, an adolescent noblewoman and a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. The story of their romance and semi-secret marriage endured in local legend and family lore but was otherwise forgotten. After five years' work with a trove of documents in several languages, Dalrymple has emerged not only with a gripping tale of politics and power but also with evidence of the surprising extent of cultural exchange in pre-Victorian India, before the arrogance of empire set in. His book, ambitious in scope and rich in detail, demonstrates that a century before Kipling's "never the twain"—and two centuries before neocons and radical Islamists trumpeted the clash of civilizations—the story of the Westerner in Muslim India was one not of conquest but of appreciation, adaptation, and seduction.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
"Brilliant, poignant,and compassionate, White Mughals is not only a compelling love story, but it is also an important reminder, at this perilous moment of history, that Europeans once found Muslim society both congenial and attractive, and that it has always been possible to build bridges between Islam and the West." —Karen Armstrong"Imaginitively conceived, beautifully written, intellectually challenging and a passionate love story—this is Dalrymple’s lifetime achievement and the best book he has ever written. He has done for India and the British what Edward Said did for the meeting between the West and Arab world in ‘Orientalism’. Despite its setting in the 18th century, this is a hugely important contemporary book. Dalrymple has broken new ground in the current debate about racism, colonialism and globalization. The history of the British in India will never be the same after this book." —Ahmed Rashid"A gorgeous, spellbinding and important book... A tapestry of magnificent set pieces and a moving romance. William Dalrymple’s story of a colonial love affair will change our views about British India." —Miranda Seymour, Sunday TimesSee all Product description
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In between the intrigues, deceit, betrayal and court politics, the love story between Kahir-un-Nissa and James Kirkpatric is beautifully woven.
William Dalrymple has brilliantly portrayed how the 'Bada Sahib' of East India Company fell in love with Hindustan, its customs, rituals, lifestyle and people.
This book talks about our colonial history and the culture of those days. I loved it so much that I am now on a mission to read at least majority of the books written by Mr. Dalrymple. I would really recommend this if your have an interest to know about by gone era and appreciate great research that authors such as Mr. Dalrymple put to bring history to masses.
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