White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India

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9780142004128: White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India

From the author of the Samuel Johnson prize-shortlisted ‘Return of a King’, the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time.

James Achilles Kirkpatrick was the British Resident at the court of Hyderabad when he met Khair un-Nissa – ‘Most Excellent among Women’ – the great-niece of the Prime Minister of Hyderabad. He fell in love with her and overcame many obstacles to marry her, converting to Islam and, according to Indian sources, becoming a double-agent working against the East India Company.

It is a remarkable story, but such things were not unknown: from the early sixteenth century to the eve of the Indian Mutiny, the ‘white Mughals’ who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassment to successive colonial administrations. Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as ‘Hindoo Stuart’, who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and Sir David Auchterlony, who took all 13 of his Indian wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of her own elephant.

In ‘White Mughals’, William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of seduction and betrayal.

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Review:

William Dalrymple's White Mughals is destined to become one of the great non-fictional classics of Anglo-Indian history. Dalrymple is steeped in India, having lived there for six years, and written a series of remarkable travel books chronicling its past and present, including City of Djinns and The Age of Kali. Having already earned comparisons with great travel writers like Chatwin and Theroux, Dalrymple has now produced a meticulously researched and beautifully written historical narrative on one of the most colourful but neglected aspects of British colonial rule in India.

Set in and around Hyderabad at the beginning of the nineteenth century, White Mughals tells the story of the improbably romantic love affair and marriage between James Achilles Kirkpatrick, a rising star in the East India Company, and Khair-un-Nisa, a Hyderabadi princess. Pursuing Kirkpatrick's passionate affair through the archives across the continents, Dalrymple unveils a fascinating story of intrigue and love that breaches the conventional boundaries of empire. As Kirkpatrick gradually goes native (adopting local clothes and enduring circumcision) he becomes a secret agent working for his wife's royal family against the English, as he tries to balance the interests of both cultures.

However, White Mughals is by no means just an exotic love story. It is a vehicle for Dalrymple's understanding of the complex legacy of the English Empire in India, that he defines more in terms of exchange and negotiation than dominance and subjugation. It is a powerful and moving plea by Dalrymple to understand the cultural intermingling and hybridity that defines both eastern and western cultures, and a convincing rejection of religious intolerance and ethnic essentialism. Elegantly written and at a pace that belies its length, White Mughals confirms Dalrymple's status as one of the most important non-fiction writers of his time. -Jerry Brotton

Review:

‘William Dalrymple is that rarity, a scholar of history who can really write. This is a brilliant and compulsively readable book’ Salman Rushdie

‘Destined to become an instant classic’ Amanda Foreman

‘A bravura display of scholarship, writing and insight. Dalrymple manages the incredible feat of outpointing most historians and most novelists in one go. This is quite simply a stunning achievement’ Independent on Sunday

‘Gorgeous, spellbinding and important, [a] tapestry of magnificent set-pieces’ Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times

‘Enthralling … brilliant, as exhaustively researched as it is brilliantly written’ Mail on Sunday

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Book Description Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 231 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. White Mughals is the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time.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 Prime Minister and a descendant of the Prophet. Kirkpatrick had gone out to India as an ambitious soldier in the army of the East India Company, eager to make his name in the conquest and subjection of the subcontinent. Instead, he fell in love with Khair and overcame many obstacles to marry her not least of which was the fact that she was locked away in purdah and engaged to a local nobleman. Eventually, while remaining Resident, Kirkpatrick converted to Islam, and according to Indian sources even became a double-agent working for the Hyderabadis against the East India Company. It is a remarkable story, involving secret assignations, court intrigue, harem politics, religious and family disputes. But such things were not unknown; from the early sixteenth century, when the Inquisition banned the Portuguese in Goa from wearing the dhoti, to the eve of the Indian mutiny, the white Mughals who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassments to successive colonial administrations. William Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as Hindoo Stuart , who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and who spent many years trying to persuade the memsahibs of Calcutta to adopt the sari; and Sir David Ochterlony, Kirkpatrick s counterpart in Delhi, who took all thirteen of his wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of their own elephant. In White Mughals, William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of love, seduction and betrayal. It possesses all the sweep and resonance of a great nineteenth-century novel, set against a background of shifting alliances and the manoeuvring of the great powers, the mercantile ambitions of the British and the imperial dreams of Napoleon. White Mughals, the product of five years writing and research, triumphantly confirms Dalrymple s reputation as one of the finest writers at work today. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142004128

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Book Description Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 231 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. White Mughals is the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time.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 Prime Minister and a descendant of the Prophet. Kirkpatrick had gone out to India as an ambitious soldier in the army of the East India Company, eager to make his name in the conquest and subjection of the subcontinent. Instead, he fell in love with Khair and overcame many obstacles to marry her not least of which was the fact that she was locked away in purdah and engaged to a local nobleman. Eventually, while remaining Resident, Kirkpatrick converted to Islam, and according to Indian sources even became a double-agent working for the Hyderabadis against the East India Company. It is a remarkable story, involving secret assignations, court intrigue, harem politics, religious and family disputes. But such things were not unknown; from the early sixteenth century, when the Inquisition banned the Portuguese in Goa from wearing the dhoti, to the eve of the Indian mutiny, the white Mughals who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassments to successive colonial administrations. William Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as Hindoo Stuart , who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and who spent many years trying to persuade the memsahibs of Calcutta to adopt the sari; and Sir David Ochterlony, Kirkpatrick s counterpart in Delhi, who took all thirteen of his wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of their own elephant. In White Mughals, William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of love, seduction and betrayal. It possesses all the sweep and resonance of a great nineteenth-century novel, set against a background of shifting alliances and the manoeuvring of the great powers, the mercantile ambitions of the British and the imperial dreams of Napoleon. White Mughals, the product of five years writing and research, triumphantly confirms Dalrymple s reputation as one of the finest writers at work today. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142004128

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Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 512 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.0in. x 1.3in.White Mughals is the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time. James Achilles Kirkpatrick was the British Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad when in 1798 he glimpsed Kahir un-NissaMost excellent among Womenthe great-niece of the Nizams Prime Minister and a descendant of the Prophet. Kirkpatrick had gone out to India as an ambitious soldier in the army of the East India Company, eager to make his name in the conquest and subjection of the subcontinent. Instead, he fell in love with Khair and overcame many obstacles to marry hernot least of which was the fact that she was locked away in purdah and engaged to a local nobleman. Eventually, while remaining Resident, Kirkpatrick converted to Islam, and according to Indian sources even became a double-agent working for the Hyderabadis against the East India Company. It is a remarkable story, involving secret assignations, court intrigue, harem politics, religious and family disputes. But such things were not unknown; from the early sixteenth century, when the Inquisition banned the Portuguese in Goa from wearing the dhoti, to the eve of the Indian mutiny, the white Mughals who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassments to successive colonial administrations. William Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as Hindoo Stuart, who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and who spent many years trying to persuade the memsahibs of Calcutta to adopt the sari; and Sir David Ochterlony, Kirkpatricks counterpart in Delhi, who took all thirteen of his wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of their own elephant. In White Mughals, William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of love, seduction and betrayal. It possesses all the sweep and resonance of a great nineteenth-century novel, set against a background of shifting alliances and the manoeuvring of the great powers, the mercantile ambitions of the British and the imperial dreams of Napoleon. White Mughals, the product of five years writing and research, triumphantly confirms Dalrymples reputation as one of the finest writers at work today. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780142004128

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