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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.
The book gives the detailed information avout the pre and post analysis of the revolt of 1857 its causes and effect, esp from the mughal and sepoys side, for the very first time the views of the revolt from the side of sepoys was presented by the author, in which he tries to explain the agony of the last mughal ruler and his court before and after 1857, the spread of the revolt and change in the british policies pre and post 1857.
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.
A book worth reading to know how the British treated the last Indian ruler.Many facts which were not known so far have been covered. It is an unbiased account of that period
I bought this book from flipkart and got delivery within 2 days.
One of my friend suggested me to read this book as I was really intrested to know about the fall of Mughal Dynasty and this book has summarized all that reasons and facts which were responsible for this.
In single word-Excellent
I am a layman and find the book very absorbing. It is a most detailed account of 1857 India. It can be used as a reference book as well. Undoubtedly the author is a very learned person and a master story teller.
The book is perfect example of an exhaustive research based historical review of an event that changed the nation and probably brought in sense of nationalism for the first time ever in people of this land. Its a sheer emotionally charged masterpiece which lets you actually visualize the life and events in Delhi in 1857. You just can't stop empathizing with the "last Mughal". Had this book been not there I would have had the conventional schema about this period based on my crude knowledge gained via school history. A must read for history lovers !
The book gives you insight not only about the last Mughal ruler but also reasons as to why the 1857 revolt failed.
Even though the book is verbose and might seem unattractive for people averse to history, this actually is a good read and definitely deserves a place in your library.
I read a few of the reviews of this marvellous book and found all of them very tempting and forcing me very strongly to buy the book. Most probably I'll buy it next month as my this month's budget for buying books is over. Next month I have to jump the list of books which I want to buy and have to give priority to this book.
Even before reading the book, I'm giving it a rating of '5 Star'.