The Private Life of an Eastern King

The Private Life of an Eastern King : By a Member of the Household of His Late Majesty, Nussir-u-deen, King of Oude

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The writer William Knighton (c.1824-1900) spent much of his career in Sri Lanka and India. Published in 1855, this is an account of the court of the notorious Indian King Nussir-u-deen (c.1803-37), written from the viewpoint and using the testimony of an anonymous British member of the King's retinue. Richly descriptive, it is an intimate portrait of life in the service of a hedonistic sovereign so hated and paranoid that he feared his own family would try to poison him. He is characterised as a cruel and frivolous man who only trusted his sycophantic barber. As well as describing the lavish royal lifestyle, the narrator documents the King's thirst for hunting, for exotic-animal fights and for abusing and humiliating members of the royal family. This is a lurid and engrossing tale of a monarch in decline and the corruption and favouritism that led to his eventual assassination.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 340 pages
  • 139.7 x 215.9 x 25.4mm | 362.87g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1108046703
  • 9781108046701

Table of contents

Preface; 1. My introduction to royalty; 2. The amusements of a king; 3. The hunting-party; 4. Tit for tat; 5. Favouritism; 6. The 'Lions' of Lucknow; 7. The man-eater; 8. The caprice of despotism; 9. The king's harem; 10. Duello. Partridges to tiger; 11. Duello. The rhinoceros and elephant; 12. The Mohurrim; 13. Farewell to Lucknow.
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