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Author: Shilpa Vijayakrishnan
Pramod Kumar KG/Several Contributors
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Abhishek Poddar/Nathaniel Gaskell
Publisher: Mapin Publishing
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789385360060
Tales of Princely India have previously revolved mostly around the figure of the Maharaja, leaving shrouded in mystery the lives of the women of the royal household. Maharanis takes you behind the veil through the lens of photography, offering a peek at the enigmatic women of royal India, and their roles in history in the public and private spheres.
This volume brings forth portraits of royal women who lived during the last phase of the erstwhile royal families in India— from around the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. This exquisite collection offers a scholarly narrative of the complex interplay of Indian and European cultures, seen through some of its most remarkable women, from the royal families of Travancore in the south to Jammu & Kashmir in the north, and from Tripura in the east to Rajasthan in the west. With portraits both formal and candid, and equal parts nostalgia and history, this volume points us towards the ways in which these women navigated the traditional and the modern, and influenced political and social change in their time.
With an unrivalled collection of photographs, Maharanis reproduces the glamour of a bygone era, full of gorgeous chiffon sarees and ornate jewellery that captivated the imagination of the world, and took the fashion-houses of Paris by storm.
A first of its kind, Maharanis draws us into a world of opulence and glamour, where the princesses of India speak fascinating tales.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"The book makes one want to investigate and look beyond the faces of royalty that one might never see in flesh".
== Anisha Dhiman, Deccan Chronicle
"..a lavish book on the historical representation of royal women in India .. You can see that its 134 images and four essays unfold the history of photography as well as gender politics."
== Shailaja Tripathi, The Hindu
"..Book comprises[s] an astounding and insightful collection documenting not just the evolution of portraiture but also the lives of these women and their sartorial, social and cultural mores."
== Shahnaz Siganporia, Vogue
"The volume… Recreate[s] a royal legacy…”
== Prachi Bhuchar, India Today