The Last Mughal

The Last Mughal : The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857

4.11 (4,959 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

List price: US$33.46

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

At 4 p.m. on a hazy November afternoon in Rangoon, 1862, a shrouded corpse was escorted by a small group of British soldiers to an anonymous grave in a prison enclosure. As the British Commissioner in charge insisted, 'No vestige should remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Moghuls rests.' Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, a talented poet, and a skilled calligrapher. But while Zafar's Mughal ancestors had controlled most of India, the aged Zafar was king in name only. Deprived of real political power by the East India Company, Zafar nevertheless succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance, and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. Then in 1857 Zafar's flourishing capital became the centre of an uprising that reduced his beloved Delhi to a battered, empty ruin. When Zafar gave his blessing to a rebellion among the Company's own Indian troops, it transformed an army mutiny into the largest uprising the British Empire ever had to face. The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad: a fight to the death between two powers, neither of whom could retreat. The Last Mughal is a portrait of the dazzling Delhi Zafar personified, the story of the last days of the great Mughal capital and its final destruction in the catastrophe of 1857. William Dalrymple's powerful retelling of this fateful course of events is shaped from groundbreaking material: previously untranslated Urdu and Persian manuscripts that include Indian eyewitness accounts, and the records of the Delhi courts, police, and administration during the siege. The Last Mughal 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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 608 pages
  • 164 x 236 x 58mm | 1,079.56g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Illustrations (chiefly col.), maps
  • 074758639X
  • 9780747586395
  • 698,465

Review quote

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, 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 Timesshow more

About William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple was born in Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. He wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu when he was twenty-two. His last book, White Mughals, won the Wolfson Prize for History 2003 and the Scottish Book of the Year Prize. A stage version by Christopher Hampton has just been co-commissioned by the National Theatre and the Tamasha Theatre Company. William Dalrymple is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Asiatic Society. His Radio 4 series on the history of British spirituality and mysticism, The Long Search, won the 2002 Sandford St Martin Prize for Religious Broadcasting. He is married to the artist Olivia Fraser, and they have three children. They divide their time between London, Scotland and Delhi.show more

Rating details

4,959 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 37% (1,827)
4 42% (2,082)
3 17% (865)
2 3% (141)
1 1% (44)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X