William dalrymple books on india
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William Dalrymple: History from Istanbul to Calcutta
The penultimate scene travels to India in , where the Mughal emperor Jahangir receives an ambassador from King James I, on a mission to promote trade with the newly chartered English East India Company. But the arrival of the British in India in the early s looked very different at the time — and from the other side. A contemporary painting by the Mughal master miniaturist Bichitr shows a supersized Jahangir on his throne, bathed in a halo of blinding magnificence. As to the Battle of Plassey of , which won the company control of Bengal and which generations of British schoolchildren would memorise as a glorious imperial victory, the real story was substantially more complicated. Clive, who stood to make an immense personal fortune, gladly accepted.
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Return of a King: Talk by Mr William Dalrymple
Any new book by William Dalrymple going into Indian history in the past few centuries is nothing less than a treat — so well-written, vivid and engaging is his writing. Dalrymple began as a travel writer but moved to Indian history with White Mughals , primarily taken up with inter-ethnic romances between British officers and Indian women. The Last Mughal, The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi dealt with the Mutiny of and the life of Bahadur Shah Zafar, for which Dalrymple was able to access records in Rangoon where the last Mughal Emperor was confined as a prisoner until his death. With The Anarchy , Dalrymple has produced an invaluable trilogy dealing with the history of India under the Company, reconstructing not only events in their larger sense but also the intimate lives of British officials and the aristocracy they socialised with in the course of their duties. This is not speculative history where the evidence is weighed and interpreted, but a narrative presented as fact. Although he is relying on another author writing on Shakespeare it shows that his preference, while being true to key facts, is partly colourful invention, but it is so vividly drawn that we actually visualise history enacted.