Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

 
9780393239348: Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan
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"Ruby Lal's intriguing biography, with its chronology of her relatively swift rise to power and even swifter descent, restores Nur Jahan to her full splendour." BBC Culture

In 1611, thirty-four-year-old Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and favourite wife of the Emperor Jahangir who ruled the Mughal Empire. An astute politician as well as a devoted partner, she issued imperial orders; coins of the realm bore her name. When Jahangir was imprisoned by a rebellious nobleman, the Empress led troops into battle and rescued him.

The only woman to acquire the stature of empress in her male-dominated world, Nur was also a talented dress designer and innovative architect whose work inspired her stepson's Taj Mahal. Nur's confident assertion of talent and power is revelatory; it far exceeded the authority of her female contemporaries, including Elizabeth I. Here, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography.

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Review:

"...outstanding..."

--Simon Heffer, Christmas Books 2018, The Telegraph

"[Lal] does a marvellous job of piecing together the scant evidence about her heroine's life."

--The Irish Independent

"This is an outstanding book, not only incredibly important but also a fabulous piece of writing. Here, India's greatest empress is reborn in all her fascinating glory in a luminescent account of her life and times. Ruby Lal has written a classic one of the best biographies to come out this year and certainly the best ever of Nur Jahan."

--Amanda Foreman

"A compelling feminist historiography of the 20th wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir...a luminous biography of a woman dabbed out of history...It is a captivating account, its depth of detail recreating a world whose constraints of lineage would seem to preclude the advance of an unknown, self-made, widowed queen."

--The Guardian

"Ms Lal's meticulous book seeks to show that history has been unfair to Nur Jahan, a woman of many talents and remarkable force of character...In filling in the details of Nur Jahan's life, Ms Lal has not only written a revisionist feminist biography; she has also provided a vivid picture of the Mughal court, with its luxuries, beauties, intrigues and horrors."

--The Economist

"...marvellous.."

--Prospect

"That she [Ruby Lal] succeeds so admirably with a relative lack of authentic material is a tribute to her dexterity as a writer. She enlivens the mostly austere historical record by including (with due caveats) the many entertaining legends that have accrued around Nur Jahan over the centuries. In so doing she not only paints an absorbing portrait of a remarkable woman, but also offers a stylish reconstruction of a fascinating slice of Mughal life..."

--The Telegraph

About the Author:

Ruby Lal is professor of South Asian history at Emory University. She is the author of Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan, Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World, and Coming of Age in Nineteenth Century India: The Girl-Child and the Art of Playfulness.

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Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 2018. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In 1611, thirty-four-year-old Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and favourite wife of the Emperor Jahangir who ruled the Mughal Empire. An astute politician as well as a devoted partner, she issued imperial orders; coins of the realm bore her name. When Jahangir was imprisoned by a rebellious nobleman, the Empress led troops into battle and rescued him. The only woman to acquire the stature of empress in her male-dominated world, Nur was also a talented dress designer and innovative architect whose work inspired her stepson's Taj Mahal. Nur's confident assertion of talent and power is revelatory; it far exceeded the authority of her female contemporaries, including Elizabeth I. Here, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography. Seller Inventory # BTA9780393239348

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