Author: William Dalrymple
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670049301
White Mughals is the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time.
James Achilles Kirkpatrick landed on the shores of eighteenth-century India as an ambitious soldier of the East India Company. Although eager to make his name in the subjection of a nation, it was he who was conquered- not by an army but by an Indian Muslim princess.
Kirkpatrick was the British resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad when in 1798 he glimpsed Khair un-Nissa- Most Excellent among Women- the great niece of the Nizam’s Prime Minister. He fell in love with Khair, and overcame many obstacles to marry her – not least of which was the fact that she was locked away in purdah and engaged to a local nobleman.
Eventually, while remaining Resident, Kirkpatrick converted to Islam, and according to Indian sources even became a double-agent working for the Hyderabadis against the East India Company.
Possessing all the sweep and resonance of a great nineteenth-century novel, White Mughals, the product of five years writing and research from a variety of previously unused Indian and British primary sources, is a remarkable tale of harem politics, secret assignations, court intrigue, religious disputes and espionage.
It brings to life a unique age almost entirely unexplored in recent times and will undoubtedly be regarded as Dalrymple’s masterpiece.
List of illustrations
Map: India in 1795
Map: Hyderabad in 1805
Family Tree: The Shushtaris
Family Tree: The Kirkpatricks