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White Mughals: love and betrayal in eighteenth-century India

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Pub. Date:
2004.
Language:
English
Description
White Mughals is the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time.

James Achilles Kirkpatrick was the British Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad when in 1798 he glimpsed Kahir un-Nissa--'Most excellent among Women'--the great-niece of the Nizam's Prime Minister and a descendant of the Prophet. Kirkpatrick had gone out to India as an ambitious soldier in the army of the East India Company, eager to make his name in the conquest and subjection of the subcontinent. Instead, he fell in love with Khair and overcame many obstacles to marry her--not least of which was the fact that she was locked away in purdah and engaged to a local nobleman. Eventually, while remaining Resident, Kirkpatrick converted to Islam, and according to Indian sources even became a double-agent working for the Hyderabadis against the East India Company.

It is a remarkable story, involving secret assignations, court intrigue, harem politics, religious and family disputes. But such things were not unknown; from the early sixteenth century, when the Inquisition banned the Portuguese in Goa from wearing the dhoti, to the eve of the Indian mutiny, the 'white Mughals' who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassments to successive colonial administrations. William Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as 'Hindoo Stuart', who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and who spent many years trying to persuade the memsahibs of Calcutta to adopt the sari; and Sir David Ochterlony, Kirkpatrick's counterpart in Delhi, who took all thirteen of his wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of their own elephant.

In White Mughals , William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of love, seduction and betrayal. It possesses all the sweep and resonance of a great nineteenth-century novel, set against a background of shifting alliances and the manoeuvring of the great powers, the mercantile ambitions of the British and the imperial dreams of Napoleon. White Mughals , the product of five years' writing and research, triumphantly confirms Dalrymple's reputation as one of the finest writers at work today.

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ISBN:
9780670031849
9781101098127
014200412
9780142004128
Reading Level:
UG
Level 10.8, 35 Points
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 409857ba-117c-e7e8-9620-3f5669bc6f28
Grouping Title white mughals love and betrayal in eighteenth century india
Grouping Author dalrymple william
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-12-10 22:45:07PM
Last Indexed 2019-12-10 23:46:26PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level UG
accelerated_reader_point_value 35
accelerated_reader_reading_level 10.8
author Dalrymple, William.
author_display Dalrymple, William
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description

White Mughals is the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time.

James Achilles Kirkpatrick was the British Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad when in 1798 he glimpsed Kahir un-Nissa—'Most excellent among Women'—the great-niece of the Nizam's Prime Minister and a descendant of the Prophet. Kirkpatrick had gone out to India as an ambitious soldier in the army of the East India Company, eager to make his name in the conquest and subjection of the subcontinent. Instead, he fell in love with Khair and overcame many obstacles to marry her—not least of which was the fact that she was locked away in purdah and engaged to a local nobleman. Eventually, while remaining Resident, Kirkpatrick converted to Islam, and according to Indian sources even became a double-agent working for the Hyderabadis against the East India Company.

It is a remarkable story, involving secret assignations, court intrigue, harem politics, religious and family disputes. But such things were not unknown; from the early sixteenth century, when the Inquisition banned the Portuguese in Goa from wearing the dhoti, to the eve of the Indian mutiny, the 'white Mughals' who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassments to successive colonial administrations. William Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as 'Hindoo Stuart', who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and who spent many years trying to persuade the memsahibs of Calcutta to adopt the sari; and Sir David Ochterlony, Kirkpatrick's counterpart in Delhi, who took all thirteen of his wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of their own elephant.

In White Mughals, William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of love, seduction and betrayal. It possesses all the sweep and resonance of a great nineteenth-century novel, set against a background of shifting alliances and the manoeuvring of the great powers, the mercantile ambitions of the British and the imperial dreams of Napoleon. White Mughals, the product of five years' writing and research, triumphantly confirms Dalrymple's reputation as one of the finest writers at work today.

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publishDate 2004
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overdrive:85a9b69a-5435-4303-b530-e7abefa2bc48 eBook eBook English Penguin Publishing Group 2004
ils:CARL0000289012 Book Books English Penguin Books, 2004. xlviii, 459 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
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subject_facet British -- India
India -- History -- 18th century
India -- Race relations
India -- Social life and customs
Kirkpatrick, James Achilles, -- 1764-1805
title_display White Mughals : love and betrayal in eighteenth-century India
title_full White Mughals : love and betrayal in eighteenth-century India / William Dalrymple
White Mughals Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India
title_short White Mughals :
title_sub love and betrayal in eighteenth-century India
topic_facet British
Fiction
Historical Fiction
History
Kirkpatrick, James Achilles
Race relations
Social life and customs