Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire

Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire


By (author) Diana Preston, By (author) Michael Preston

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  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Format: Paperback | 317 pages
  • Dimensions: 151mm x 199mm x 23mm | 327g
  • Publication date: 5 February 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0802716733
  • ISBN 13: 9780802716736
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, colour illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 761,253

Product description

The dazzling story of the Taj Mahal and the empire whose spirit it epitomizes. Built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal's flawless symmetry and gleaming presence have or centuries dazzled everyone who has seen it, and the story of its creation is a fascinating blend of cultural and architectural heritage. Yet, as Diana and Michael Preston vividly convey in the first narrative history of the Taj, it also reflects the magnificent history of the Moghul Empire itself, for it turned out to mark the high point of the empire's glory at the same time as it became a tipping point in Moghul fortunes. With the storytelling skills that characterize their previous books, the Prestons bring alive both the grand sweep of Moghul history and the details that make it memorable. A tale of overwhelming passion, the story of the Taj has the cadences of Greek tragedy and the ripe emotion of grand opera, and puts a memorable human face on the marble masterpiece.

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Author information

Diana and Michael Preston are Oxford-trained historians who live in London, England. Diana is the author of "A First Rate Tragedy," "The Boxer Rebellion," "Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy," and "Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima," which won the 2006 Los Angeles Times prize for Science & Technology. She and Michael coauthored "A Pirate of Exquisite Mind," a biography of the great seventeenth-century adventurer William Dampier.

Review quote

Praise for "Taj Mahal: "“Filled with quotes, anecdotes and evocative prose, this true tale has, at times, the texture of a historical novel.”—"Seattle Times "“This history breaks through the legendary facade to reveal a powerful backstory.”—"Publishers Weekly "“In describing the Moghul Empire, the Prestons tell tales of Sunni and Shiite tensions; battles that are won by bribery as much as by force; and religious and clan wars that sweep from Kandahar to Kabul to Kashmir.”—"San Diego Union-Tribune"