Through the sumptuous, adventurous lives of three generations of Indian queens—from the period following the Indian Mutiny of 1857 to the present, Lucy Moore traces the cultural and political changes that transformed their world. This is the fantastic nonfiction version of The Jewel in the Crown.
Until the 1920s, to be a Maharani, wife to the Maharajah, was to be tantalizingly close to the power and glamour of the Raj, but locked away in purdah. Even the educated, progressive Maharani of Baroda, Chimnabai—born into the aftermath of the 1857 Indian Mutiny—began her marriage this way, but her ravishing daughter, Indira, had other ideas. She became the Regent of Cooch Behar, one of the wealthiest regions of India while her daughter, Ayesha, was elected to Indian Parliament. The lives of these influential, immensely colorful women embodied the delicate interplay between rulers and the ruled, race and culture, subservience and independence, Eastern and Western ideas, and ancient and modern ways of life in the bejeweled exuberance of Indian aristocratic life in the final days both of the Raj and the British Empire. Tracing these larger-than-life characters as they bust every known stereotype, Lucy Moore creates a vivid picture of an emerging modern, democratic society in India and the tumultuous period of Imperialism from which it arose.
“A fascinating picture of a vanished world.”—Sarah Bradford, author of America’s Queen and Lucrezia Borgia
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"Scintillating. Moore revels in every detail—from the elegance of the maharanis’ attire, to the complexities of Indian family life and politics, to the trauma and heroism of breaking with tradition."
—Booklist (starred review)
"A fascinating picture of a vanished world."
—Sarah Bradford, author of Lucrezia Borgia
Lucy Moore was born in London, raised in Massachusetts, and educated at Edinburgh University. She writes for a wide variety of British magazines and newspapers, as well as The Washington Times. She is the author of two previous books of British history, including Con Men and Cutpurses (Penguin).
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