White Mughals by William Dalrymple

About the book

James Achilles Kirkpatrick was the British Resident at the court of Hyderabad when he met Khair un-Nissa – ‘Most Excellent among Women’ – the great-niece of the Prime Minister of Hyderabad. He fell in love with her and overcame many obstacles to marry her, converting to Islam and, according to Indian sources, becoming a double-agent working against the East India Company. It is a remarkable story, but such things were not unknown: from the early sixteenth century to the eve of the Indian Mutiny, the ‘white Mughals’ who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassment to successive colonial administrations. Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as ‘Hindoo Stuart’, who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and Sir David Auchterlony, who took all 13 of his Indian wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of her own elephant. In ‘White Mughals’, William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of seduction and betrayal.

Reviewed by Keyhaven Yacht Club Reading Group:

Very interesting but too dense and print too small for our group.

Star rating: **

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3 thoughts on “White Mughals by William Dalrymple”

  1. Review by Bedhampton Reading Group:
    Scholarly historical book. Very detailed. It took us 2 months to read. Gets easier towards the end so persevere!!! Not as described on the blurb!
    Star rating: ****

  2. Review by The Young Group Reading Group:
    Eloquent, informative and at times, politics did dominate! However, a lovely consistent love affair. (requires concentration)
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by CC Readers
    Very informative, but perhaps there is information overload. Heavy going – or at least requires concentration. Shows scholarship. Too many quotations.
    Star rating: ***

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