White Mughals

White Mughals

Love and Betrayal in the Eighteenth-century India

Book - 2003
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From the early sixteenth century, it was common for British colonizers in India to embarrass the Crown by "turning Turk" or "going native." Few caused greater scandal than James Kirkpatrick, a British resident in the Court of Hyderabad, who converted to Islam and spied on the East India Company in the midst of an affair with Khair un-Nissa, the great-niece of the region's prime minister. White Mogulsis rich with many eccentric characters, from "Hindoo Stuart," who traveled with his own team of Brahmins, to Alexander Gardner, an American whose self-invented costume was showcased by a tartan turban with egret plumes. A remarkable love story set in an exotic and previously unexplored world, White Mogulsis full of secrets, intrigue, espionage, and religious disputes and conjures all the resonance of a great nineteenth-century novel.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2003
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780670031849
0670031844
Branch Call Number: 954.03 Da
Characteristics: xlvii, 459 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm

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delfon
Apr 19, 2014

This is an ideal read for students of Canadian, or US history. Fascinating compelxities, similar in some ways to;A Distant Mirror, but more personal. In some ways, one could say, its a tome on private industry, with all its warts, avarice, amorallities etc.. James K, is not a spy but a humanist, scholor who admires the cultures he resides in, more attuned to diplomacy than use of the 'sword'. The author illustrates the initial successes of the British East India Company, and its slow demise, and perhaps relates to the demise of the whole British Empire as hinted. Evangelicalism, led to to bigotry, prejudices, wars, slaughters. The 'love story' is but a minor feature. Other personalities, that the author features and describes that could fit deadbeats of our time; the good Dr. Ure, who disappoints; and Henry Russel who truly is a shame, (but must wait until 9 to know), then: Arthur Wellesly, who literally, sacrifices (maybe the term is, slaughters) 25% of his own troops in an attempt to conquer what could have been done in peaceful ways. (He goes on to become, The Duke Of Wellington). HIs brother the GG, causes no limit of hardship, war and disagreement. A fine comparison could be had with the early 18th Century becoming more and more bigoted. There's similaries to North America, In Canada, Champlains Dream, tells of co-mingling, which went on even after the fall of Quebec. But, is early 19th C, things changed. That period co-incides with the destruction of Metis settlements, near deprivations against Native Indians, and so on. Sad, the initial Anglo groups composed of Scots and and a heady mixture of mercenaries were a far better bunch, then those that came later. My copy is worn and has lose pages so not sure if it will be fixed. This is a heady, easy read; writtrn by someone with a wonderfully imaginative mind. One of the best reads one can ever come across, and most comprehensively relevent, even to our present day North America. Private companies need reining, mercenary armies have no business representing soveriegn states. .

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SusanJoslyn
Nov 14, 2012

page 293

HolbrookfromCinti Mar 24, 2011

I can't wait to read this book. It was highly recommended.

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