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Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty Delhi 1857 (English)

Paperback
Language: English
Length: 608 Pages
Publisher: PENGUIN INDIA
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Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty Delhi 1857 (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.352

The Last Mughal is a fascinating look at the decline of the Mughal empire in India, set against the backdrop of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

Summary Of The Book

The Last Mughal highlights Dalrymple’s longstanding fascination with the Indian city of Delhi. It presents the Delhi that formed the seat of the Mughal empire in India - a city as brilliant as the monarch who reigned over it. Indeed Bahadur Shah Zafar II embodied the very essence of Delhi city. He was a talented and versatile individual, well-versed in poetry, calligraphy, and mysticism. Despite being under the control of the East India Company to quite an extent, he nevertheless managed to form a dazzling court, setting the stage for one of India’s most culturally rich phases.

In 1857, the Sepoy Mutiny that shook the vast British empire had its roots in the small rebellion staged by Indian troops in the East India company - a rebellion that had Zafar’s approval. The final uprising had far-reaching consequences for the Indians as well as the British. In the aftermath of the uprising, the Mughal empire lay in complete shambles amidst heartbreaking blood and gore. The peaceful, once powerful emperor could only watch in helplessness and grief as his beloved empire was irrevocably lost.

Dalrymple has crafted the book with great care, by conducting in-depth research and paying attention to local sensibilities. He has even succeeded in capturing the prosperous, poetic vibe of the Mughal empire. Above all, his presentation of a beautiful, vibrant, and multi-ethnic city like Delhi has the potential to keep readers fascinated.

The Last Mughal was first published in 2006. It went on to win the Vodafone Crossword Book Award, and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize For History and Biography. This particular edition is a 2007 reprint.

About William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple is a Scottish historian and writer.

His works include White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India, The Age Of Kali: Indian Travels and Encounters, In Xanadu: A Quest, Nine Lives: In Search Of The Sacred In Modern India, and City Of Djinns: A Year in Delhi.

His writing focuses on various aspects of the Eastern world, including religion, culture, and tradition. India is a recurring theme in many of his books. His work has been translated into over 40 languages. Dalrymple was born on March 20, 1965, in Scotland. He attended the Ampleforth College, and later Trinity College, Cambridge. He has contributed to history and literature in a variety of ways, and is one of the co-founders of the Jaipur Literary Festival. He has won several honors and awards, including the Sykes Medal from The Royal Society for Asian Affairs, the Mungo Park Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and the Media Citizen Puraskar from the Indian Confederation of NGOs. Dalrymple is married to Olivia, an artist. The couple has three children - Adam, Sam, and Ibby. Dalrymple divides his time between his farmhouse at Mehrauli near Delhi, and his UK residences in Edinburgh and London.

Specifications of Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty Delhi 1857 (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Author William Dalrymple
Book Details
Publisher PENGUIN INDIA
Imprint PENGUIN
Publication Year 2007
ISBN-13 9780143102434
ISBN-10 0143102435
Language English
Edition 1stEdition
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 608 Pages
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Book Reviews of Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty Delhi 1857 (English)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
19 May 2013
Worth reading

This was the first book that I had read which was written by William Dalrymple and I understood why he is such a revered author. The book is the outcome of extensive research carried by him. The political and socio-economic life of Delhi prevalent at those times was covered vividly and in detail. Some interesting facts that emerged from this books are

a) Bahadur Shah Zafar never had any battle experience
b) Bahadur Singh Zafar became leader of the uprising by circumstances rather than choice
c) There were British Sepoys among those who revolted
d) Offspring of some Britishers who mingl...
()

This was the first book that I had read which was written by William Dalrymple and I understood why he is such a revered author. The book is the outcome of extensive research carried by him. The political and socio-economic life of Delhi prevalent at those times was covered vividly and in detail. Some interesting facts that emerged from this books are

a) Bahadur Shah Zafar never had any battle experience
b) Bahadur Singh Zafar became leader of the uprising by circumstances rather than choice
c) There were British Sepoys among those who revolted
d) Offspring of some Britishers who mingl...

This was the first book that I had read which was written by William Dalrymple and I understood why he is such a revered author. The book is the outcome of extensive research carried by him. The political and socio-economic life of Delhi prevalent at those times was covered vividly and in detail. Some interesting facts that emerged from this books are

a) Bahadur Shah Zafar never had any battle experience
b) Bahadur Singh Zafar became leader of the uprising by circumstances rather than choice
c) There were British Sepoys among those who revolted
d) Offspring of some Britishers who mingled with the Indian society could not speak English
e) The battle of 1857 took mostly in streets
f) There were complete mayhem in Delhi due to looting, plundering, murder and rape both during and after revolt
g) Out of 31,29 sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar were prosecuted by British
h) Two sons who survived lived the life of penury in Rangoon after Bahadur Shah Zafar died

There are many facts that are mentioned that you may have not come across in earlier books on such subject. Even if you do not love history, this book is worth reading. Definitely, I would recommend this book.

1 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
22 Jul 2013
Dalrymple: Good Narrator

This book contains a logical and lucid flow of the subject regarding the 'Last Mogul', at least a careful and voracious reader will not loose interest.

One of the best features about the book is that while writing it a thorough research has been done, relying not only prejudiced and biased Anglo-British sources but also Arab o-Persian-Urdu-Hindi reference materials, retrieved from varied venues like Hyderabad, Lahore, New Delhi.

Mr. Dalrymple had tried to maintain an impartial and neutral scholarly approach, which is usually not found amongst Anglo-Western writers and is an exceptional qu...
()

This book contains a logical and lucid flow of the subject regarding the 'Last Mogul', at least a careful and voracious reader will not loose interest.

One of the best features about the book is that while writing it a thorough research has been done, relying not only prejudiced and biased Anglo-British sources but also Arab o-Persian-Urdu-Hindi reference materials, retrieved from varied venues like Hyderabad, Lahore, New Delhi.

Mr. Dalrymple had tried to maintain an impartial and neutral scholarly approach, which is usually not found amongst Anglo-Western writers and is an exceptional qu...
This book contains a logical and lucid flow of the subject regarding the 'Last Mogul', at least a careful and voracious reader will not loose interest.

One of the best features about the book is that while writing it a thorough research has been done, relying not only prejudiced and biased Anglo-British sources but also Arab o-Persian-Urdu-Hindi reference materials, retrieved from varied venues like Hyderabad, Lahore, New Delhi.

Mr. Dalrymple had tried to maintain an impartial and neutral scholarly approach, which is usually not found amongst Anglo-Western writers and is an exceptional quality.

However the writers views about the Indian National Army soldiers under leader Subhas Chandra Bose praying for blessings at the grave of the last Mogul at Yangon, do smell of an Imperial-Western-Colonial bias against an oppressed and colonised people's armed insurrection, but that can be justified and pardoned under artistic and aesthetic freedom.

Mr. Dalrymple keep on the good work

0 of 1 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
19 Feb 2012
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certified buyer
POIGNANT YET UNPUTDOWNABLE

Once again Dalrymple enthralls and enlightens us through his in depth research, vivid description and intelligent and honest analysis. The amount of research and effort that has gone into writing this book is commendable and i salute Dalrymple for undertaking the mammoth work. It is perhaps the first account of the mutiny from the Indian point of view. Even though it does give us the entire story and centres round the part played by bahadur shah zafar, the reader can very well piece together the complete picture. Zafar may have been incompetent and spineless but as the descendant of a great... ()

Once again Dalrymple enthralls and enlightens us through his in depth research, vivid description and intelligent and honest analysis. The amount of research and effort that has gone into writing this book is commendable and i salute Dalrymple for undertaking the mammoth work. It is perhaps the first account of the mutiny from the Indian point of view. Even though it does give us the entire story and centres round the part played by bahadur shah zafar, the reader can very well piece together the complete picture. Zafar may have been incompetent and spineless but as the descendant of a great...
Once again Dalrymple enthralls and enlightens us through his in depth research, vivid description and intelligent and honest analysis. The amount of research and effort that has gone into writing this book is commendable and i salute Dalrymple for undertaking the mammoth work. It is perhaps the first account of the mutiny from the Indian point of view. Even though it does give us the entire story and centres round the part played by bahadur shah zafar, the reader can very well piece together the complete picture. Zafar may have been incompetent and spineless but as the descendant of a great dynasty he deserves to be remembered with far more respect than he actually was given.

2 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
10 Jul 2012
Extraordinary!!

Darlymple writes beautifully!!
He visits 19th century delhi and takes you along for the ride. You live amidst the delhi elite, taste their luxury, hear their rumors, and feel their fear. Even though a brit himself Darlymple never seems biased. He dwells elaborately on the prejudice of the company personell and the dying breed of those whom he calls "the white mughals". Whites who have adapted the lifstyle of the delhi elite... people like ochterloney, the frasers & the skinners who live in the style of a nawab and dorn the habit of a prince. They even maitain thieir own harem...
()

Darlymple writes beautifully!!
He visits 19th century delhi and takes you along for the ride. You live amidst the delhi elite, taste their luxury, hear their rumors, and feel their fear. Even though a brit himself Darlymple never seems biased. He dwells elaborately on the prejudice of the company personell and the dying breed of those whom he calls "the white mughals". Whites who have adapted the lifstyle of the delhi elite... people like ochterloney, the frasers & the skinners who live in the style of a nawab and dorn the habit of a prince. They even maitain thieir own harem...
Darlymple writes beautifully!!
He visits 19th century delhi and takes you along for the ride. You live amidst the delhi elite, taste their luxury, hear their rumors, and feel their fear. Even though a brit himself Darlymple never seems biased. He dwells elaborately on the prejudice of the company personell and the dying breed of those whom he calls "the white mughals". Whites who have adapted the lifstyle of the delhi elite... people like ochterloney, the frasers & the skinners who live in the style of a nawab and dorn the habit of a prince. They even maitain thieir own harems and marry aplenty. Learned in arabic and persian they quote galib and carry on as genuine mommadens.

Somewhere he contrasts a typical day of the delhites and the company persons and he does so with perfection and FEELING.

The vivid discriptions of the poetic mehfils, the mushairas create a nostalgic effect. And even though he talks of a time long past... you cant help feeling disappointed ...as if... you have MISSED something.

And then comes the mutiny... how the surreal reality is brutally destroyed. And the galib couplet at the end.... it breaks your heart!!

a must have. read it at leisure and recreate the glory of the Indian capital.
highly recommended!!

0 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
13 Jul 2013
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
Engaging, academic, well researched narrative

The best part of the book is its impassivity.. The writer does not write with either a western or with a Mughal sympathiser's bias. It is engaging, almost lyrical, like telling an interesting story of olden times, critiquing aspects of both the cultures. What is impressive is the extent to which the man has gone to establish credibility and remove traces of bias which might creep in a story like this. The choice of adjectives, poetry add colour to avoid it from the shackles of documentation. And yet despite all this, there is no absence of "feeling" which makes the great distincti... ()

The best part of the book is its impassivity.. The writer does not write with either a western or with a Mughal sympathiser's bias. It is engaging, almost lyrical, like telling an interesting story of olden times, critiquing aspects of both the cultures. What is impressive is the extent to which the man has gone to establish credibility and remove traces of bias which might creep in a story like this. The choice of adjectives, poetry add colour to avoid it from the shackles of documentation. And yet despite all this, there is no absence of "feeling" which makes the great distincti...
The best part of the book is its impassivity.. The writer does not write with either a western or with a Mughal sympathiser's bias. It is engaging, almost lyrical, like telling an interesting story of olden times, critiquing aspects of both the cultures. What is impressive is the extent to which the man has gone to establish credibility and remove traces of bias which might creep in a story like this. The choice of adjectives, poetry add colour to avoid it from the shackles of documentation. And yet despite all this, there is no absence of "feeling" which makes the great distinction between an interesting and a boring read. A must read.

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.

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    Book: Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty Delhi 1857 (English) by William Dalrymple
    ISBN Number: 0143102435, 9780143102434, 978-0143102434

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