Nur Jahan: Empress of Mughal India

Nur Jahan: Empress of Mughal India

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Nur Jahan was one of the most powerful and influential women in Indian history. Born on a caravan traveling from Teheran to India, she became the last (eighteenth) wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir and effectively took control of the government as he bowed to the effects of alcohol and opium. Her reign (1611-1627) marked the highpoint of the Mughal empire, in the course of which she made great contributions to the arts, religion, and the nascent trade with Europe. An intriguing, elegantly written account of Nur Jahan's life and times, this book not only revises the legends that portray her as a power-hungry and malicious woman, but also investigates the paths to power available to women in Islam and Hinduism providing a fascinating picture of life inside the mahal (harem).show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 420 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 33.02mm | 793.78g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous halftones and 4 tables
  • 0195074882
  • 9780195074888
  • 1,666,255

Back cover copy

This is the story of one of the most powerful and influential women in Indian history, Nur Jahan. Born on a caravan traveling from Teheran to India, she went on to rule the Mughal empire - in fact if not in name - when she became the eighteenth and last wife of Emperor Jahangir. Nur Jahan grew up among noble families of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. Given in marriage to a Turkish soldier of fortune known as Sher Afgan, she bore one daughter before Afgan was killed in a political quarrel in Bengal. Nur Jahan returned to court as a widowed handmaiden and was noticed four years later by the emperor at a bazaar. She and Jahangir were married in 1611 and, due to his increasing addiction to alcohol and opium, she immediately ascended into the vacuum of power. Quickly forming a ruling clique of her brother, father, and stepson (Shah Jahan), Nur Jahan influenced everything she touched with tremendous creativity and charisma. In addition to her management of affairs at court and the intrigues of financial, martial, and marital alliances, Nur Jahan had decisive influence on religious policy, artistic and architectural development, foreign trade, gardening, and the opening up of Kashmir. Barred from long-term power at Jahangir's death by her brother and stepson, Nur Jahan spent the last two decades of her life in exile with her daughter in Lahore. An intriguing, elegantly written account of Nur Jahan's life and times, this book not only revises the legends that portray her as a power-hungry and malicious woman, but also investigates the paths to power available to women in Islam and Hinduism.show more

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