Saturday, December 22, 2012

The White Mugals by William Dalrymple

I have spent many happy hours lately reading William Dalrymple's The White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India (2002), and now I have finally finished it and posted a review. This long and dense but extremely interesting book describes the marriage of James Kirkpatrick to Khair-un-Nissa, a cross-cultural alliance that caused a great stir in the India of the late 1700s. Even more than the account of this relationship, I enjoyed the depiction of life amidst the fading ruins of Mughal India. Dalrymple's real purpose is to celebrate the time when the British were more likely to assimilate to Indian ways than try to impose their own, but this multicultural agenda never gets in the way of the story. Loved it.

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