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Philip Hensher – The Mulberry Empire

About the book

‘The Mulberry Empire’ recounts an episode in the Great Game in central Asia – the courtship, betrayal and invasion of Afghanistan in the 1830s by the emissaries of Her Majesty’s Empire, which is followed by the bloody and summary expulsion of the British from Kabul following an Afghani insurrection. At its heart the encounter between West and East, as embodied in the likeable, complex relationship between Alexander Burnes, leader of the initial British expeditionary party, and the wily, cultured Afghani ruler, the Amir Dost Mohammed Khan. For those who enjoyed William Dalrymple’s ‘Return of a King’, ‘The Mulberry Empire’ is a must-read.

Reviewed by Blackwater Valley U3A Reading Group:

We thought this was ‘hard going’. Good descriptions but rather repetitive. ‘Intense and descriptive’. Lots of different story lines which did not come together. A bit disappointing.

Star rating: **

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2 thoughts on “Philip Hensher – The Mulberry Empire”

  1. Review by Ladies of an Age Reading Group:
    Nobody made it to the end of this book! Too much prolonged description and not enough human interest were the main reasons.
    Star rating: *

  2. Review by Enjoying Books Reading Group:
    This is not an easy read though historically accurate. Clever writing but perhaps he was trying too hard to copy so many other writers.
    Star rating: **+

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