India Dalrymple The Last Mughal

ISBN 13: 9780143102434

The Last Mughal

4.1 avg rating
( 4,610 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780143102434: The Last Mughal

Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize for History 2007 Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, a talented poet, and a skilled calligrapher, who, though deprived of real political power by the East India Company, succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance, and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. In 1857 it was Zafar s blessing to a rebellion among the Company s own Indian troops that transformed an army mutiny into the largest uprising the British Empire ever had to face. The Last Mughal is a portrait of the dazzling Delhi Zafar personified, and the story of the last days of the great Mughal capital and its final destruction in the catastrophe of 1857. Shaped from groundbreaking material, William Dalrymple s powerful retelling of this fateful course of events is an extraordinary revisionist work with clear contemporary echoes. It is the first account to present the Indian perspective on the siege, and has at its heart the stories of the forgotten individuals tragically caught up in one of the bloodiest upheavals in history.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

PRAISE FOR WHITE MUGHALS "No brief review can do justice to its manifold excellence and all one can say is that Dalrymple manages the incredible feat of outpointing most historians and novelists in one go. This is quite simply a stunning achievement." Frank McLynn, the Independent on Sunday "William Dalrymple is that rarity: a scholar of history who can really write. His story of cultural collisions is beautifully told, and brings British India vividly back to life; but it also a tale with many contemporary echoes." Salman Rushdie "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 Times "Dalrymple is the most perceptive and sympathetic observer of the Asian scene writing today [ ] White Mughals is nothing less than a kush bagh, a garden of delights " Charles Allen, Literary Review

From the Author:

Not far from my farm outside Delhi lies Zafar Mahal, the
wrecked and ruined summer palace of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah
Zafar. Situated next to the domes of one of the oldest Sufi shrines in
India, the palace is an atmospheric but melancholy place.

The cusped arches of the chambers where Zafar held his famous mushairas or
poetic symposia are slowly collapsing; only pigeons declaim here today. At
the edge of the compound, next to the shrine, lies the empty plot in which
Zafar wished to be buried; a wish that was never fulfilled. At 4 am on the
7th October, 332 years after the first Mughal Babur conquered Delhi, the
last Emperor left the imperial city on a bullock cart. His destination was
Rangoon to which the British banished the old man at the age of 83.
Zafar - the direct descendant of Genghis Khan and Timur, of Akbar and Shah
Jahan- came late to the throne, succeeding his father only in his
mid-sixties when it was already impossible to reverse the political decline
of the Mughals. But despite this he succeeded in creating around him in
Delhi a court of great brilliance. Personally, he was one of the most
talented, tolerant and likeable of his dynasty: a skilled calligrapher, a
profound writer on Sufism, a discriminating patron of miniature painters,
and an inspired creator of gardens.

More remarkably he was a serious mystical poet, and through his patronage
there took place one of the greatest literary renaissances in Indian
history. Himself a ghazal writer of great accomplishment, Zafar court
provided a showcase for the talents of India's greatest lyric poet, Ghalib.
While the British progressively took over more and more of the Mughal
Emperor's power, the court busied itself in obsessive pursuit of the most
perfect Urdu couplet, as literary ambition replaced the political variety.

Then, on a May morning in 1857, three hundred mutinous sepoys from Meerut
rode into Delhi, massacred every Christian man, woman and child they could
find, and declared Zafar to be their Emperor. Zafar was no friend of the
British; yet he was not a natural insurgent either. It was with severe
misgivings that he found himself made the nominal leader of an uprising
that he suspected from the start was doomed: a chaotic and officerless army
of unpaid peasant soldiers set against the forces of the world's greatest
military power.

The great Mughal capital, caught in the middle of a remarkable cultural
flowering, was turned overnight into a battleground.
The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad: a fight to the death between
two powers, neither of whom could retreat. There were unimaginable
casualties, and on both sides the combatants were driven to the limits of
physical and mental endurance.

Finally, on the 14th September 1857, the British assaulted and took the
city, sacking the Mughal capital and massacring great swathes of the
population. In one muhalla alone, Kucha Chelan, some 1,400 citizens of
Delhi were cut down. "The orders went out to shoot every soul," recorded
Edward Vibart, a 19 year old British officer. "It was literally murder ...
The women were all spared but their screams, on seeing their husbands and
sons butchered, were most painful... Heaven knows I feel no pity, but when
some old grey bearded man is brought and shot before your very eyes, hard
must be that man's heart I think who can look on with indifference..."

Those city dwellers who survived the killing were driven out into the
countryside to fend for themselves. Delhi was left an empty ruin. Though
the royal family had surrendered peacefully, most of the Emperor's sixteen
sons were tried and hung, while three were shot in cold blood, having first
freely given up their arms, then been told to strip naked

In 2002 I returned to Delhi, after nearly a decade in London, to write the
life of Zafar and the story of the last days of the Mughals. In the
National Archives I found a remarkable archive of some 20,000 previously
untranslated Urdu and Persian documents on which the book has been based,
and which have allowed the daily life of the city before and during the
siege to be resurrected in some detail. Cumulatively the stories these
Mutiny Papers contained allowed the Uprising to be seen not in terms of
nationalism, imperialism, orientalism or other such abstractions, but
instead as a tragic human event, and to resurrect the ordinary individuals
whose fate it was to be accidentally caught up in one of the great
upheavals of history. Public, political and national disasters, after all,
consist of a multitude of private, domestic and individual tragedies.

Today, West and East again face each other uneasily across a divide that
many see as religious war. Suicide jihadis fight what they see as a
defensive action against their Christian enemies, and again innocent
civilians are slaughtered. As before, Western Evangelical politicians are
apt to cast their opponents and enemies in the role of "incarnate fiends"
and simplistically conflate armed resistance to invasion and occupation
with "pure evil." Again Western countries, blind to the effect their
foreign policies have on the wider world, feel aggrieved and surprised to
be attacked- as they see it- by mindless fanatics.

Yet as we have seen in our own time, nothing so easily radicalizes a people
against us, or undermines the moderate aspect of Islam as aggressive
Western intrusion in the East: the histories of Islamic fundamentalism and
Western imperialism have often been closely, and dangerously, intertwined.
In a curious but very concrete way, the extremists and fundamentalists of
both faiths have needed each other to reinforce each other's prejudices and
hatreds. The venom of one provides the lifeblood of the other.

There are clear lessons here. For, in the celebrated words of Edmund Burke-
himself a fierce critic of British aggression in India- those who fail to
learn from history are always destined to repeat it.

* * *

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

William Dalrymple
Published by Penguin, New Delhi, India (2007)
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, New Delhi, India, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Indian Edition. Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, a talented poet, and a skilled calligrapher, who, though deprived of real political power by the East India Company, succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance, and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. In 1857 it was Zafar’s blessing to a rebellion among the Company’s own Indian troops that transformed an army mutiny into the largest uprising the British Empire ever had to face. The Last Mughal is a portrait of the dazzling Delhi Zafar personified, and the story of the last days of the great Mughal capital and its final destruction in the catastrophe of 1857. Shaped from groundbreaking material, William Dalrymple’s powerful retelling of this fateful course of events is an extraordinary revisionist work with clear contemporary echoes. It is the first account to present the Indian perspective on the siege, and has at its heart the stories of the forgotten individuals tragically caught up in one of the bloodiest upheavals in history. Printed Pages: 608 with 16 colour and 8 b/w illustrations. Size: 14 Cms x 22 Cms. Bookseller Inventory # 017730

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 8.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 3.89
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

William Dalrymple
Published by Penguin, New Delhi, India (2007)
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Sanctum Books
(New Delhi, DELHI, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, New Delhi, India, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Indian Edition. Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, a talented poet, and a skilled calligrapher, who, though deprived of real political power by the East India Company, succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance, and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. In 1857 it was Zafar’s blessing to a rebellion among the Company’s own Indian troops that transformed an army mutiny into the largest uprising the British Empire ever had to face. The Last Mughal is a portrait of the dazzling Delhi Zafar personified, and the story of the last days of the great Mughal capital and its final destruction in the catastrophe of 1857. Shaped from groundbreaking material, William Dalrymple’s powerful retelling of this fateful course of events is an extraordinary revisionist work with clear contemporary echoes. It is the first account to present the Indian perspective on the siege, and has at its heart the stories of the forgotten individuals tragically caught up in one of the bloodiest upheavals in history. Printed Pages: 608 with 16 colour and 8 b/w illustrations. Size: 14 Cms x 22 Cms. Bookseller Inventory # 017730

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 8.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 4.76
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds
International Edition
International Edition

3.

Dalrymple, William
Published by Penguin
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
International Edition
Seller
Sunshine Book Store
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. 0143102435 This is an International Edition. Brand New, paperback, Delivery within 6-14 business days, Same Contents as U.S Edition, ISBN and Cover design may differ. Choose Expedited shipping for delivery within 4-7 business days. We do not ship to PO Box, APO,FPO Address. We may ship the books from multiple warehouses across the globe, including India depending upon the availability of inventory storage. Customer satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # HO9780143102434

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 14.06
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

WILLIAM DALRYMPLE
Published by PenguinÿBooks
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Soft cover Quantity Available: 10
Seller
Books in my Basket
(New Delhi, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description PenguinÿBooks. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 336213

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 10.52
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 3.54
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Dalrymple
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
US_Superfast_Bookstore
(New Castle, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New Paperback Same Title Author and Edition as listed. Standard Delivery within 6-14 business days ACROSS THE GLOBE. Access code/CD may not provided with these editions. We may ship the books from multiple warehouses across the globe including Asia depending upon the availability of inventory. Printed in English. Bookseller Inventory # OS9780143102434

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 13.77
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 2.13
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

William Dalrymple
Published by Penguin Books India (2007)
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BookVistas
(New Delhi, DELHI, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books India, 2007. Softcover. Book Condition: New. 13 x 20 cm. Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, a talented poet, and a skilled calligrapher, who, though deprived of real political power by the East India Company, succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance, and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. In 1857 it was Zafar?s blessing to a rebellion among the Company?s own Indian troops that transformed an army mutiny into the largest uprising the British Empire ever had to face. The Last Mughal is a portrait of the dazzling Delhi Zafar personified, and the story of the last days of the great Mughal capital and its final destruction in the catastrophe of 1857. Shaped from groundbreaking material, William Dalrymple?s powerful retelling of this fateful course of events is an extraordinary revisionist work with clear contemporary echoes. It is the first account to present the Indian perspective on the siege, and has at its heart the stories of the forgotten individuals tragically caught up in one of the bloodiest upheavals in history. Printed Pages: 604. Bookseller Inventory # 21880

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 14.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 3.45
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

William Dalrymple
Published by Penguin/Viking, New Delhi, India
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin/Viking, New Delhi, India. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Printed pages: 590 alongwith a map. Size: 16 Cms x 23.5 Cms. Bookseller Inventory # 016989

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 14.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 3.89
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

William Dalrymple
Published by Penguin Books India (2007)
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
A - Z Books
(New Delhi, DELHI, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books India, 2007. Softcover. Book Condition: New. 13 x 20 cm. Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, a talented poet, and a skilled calligrapher, who, though deprived of real political power by the East India Company, succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance, and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. In 1857 it was Zafar’s blessing to a rebellion among the Company’s own Indian troops that transformed an army mutiny into the largest uprising the British Empire ever had to face. The Last Mughal is a portrait of the dazzling Delhi Zafar personified, and the story of the last days of the great Mughal capital and its final destruction in the catastrophe of 1857. Shaped from groundbreaking material, William Dalrymple’s powerful retelling of this fateful course of events is an extraordinary revisionist work with clear contemporary echoes. It is the first account to present the Indian perspective on the siege, and has at its heart the stories of the forgotten individuals tragically caught up in one of the bloodiest upheavals in history. Printed Pages: 604. Bookseller Inventory # 21880

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 14.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 4.32
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

William Dalrymple
Published by Penguin/Viking, New Delhi, India
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Sanctum Books
(New Delhi, DELHI, India)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin/Viking, New Delhi, India. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Printed pages: 590 alongwith a map. Size: 16 Cms x 23.5 Cms. Bookseller Inventory # 016989

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 14.86
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: £ 4.76
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

William Dalrymple
Published by Penguin (2007)
ISBN 10: 0143102435 ISBN 13: 9780143102434
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0143102435

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
£ 20.27
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book