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Koh-i-Noor


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Koh-i-Noor

William Dalrymple


ISBN 9781408888865


The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world.

On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the centre of the great Fort in Lahore. There, in a public ceremony, the frightened but dignified child handed over great swathes of the richest country in India in a formal Act of Submission to a private corporation, the East India Company. He was also compelled to hand over to the British monarch, Queen Victoria, perhaps the single most valuable object on the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i Noor diamond. The Mountain of Light.

The history of the Koh-i-Noor that was then commissioned by the British may have been one woven together from gossip of Delhi bazaars, but it was to be become the accepted version. Only now is it finally challenged, freeing the diamond from the fog of mythology that has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism and appropriation told through an impressive slice of south and central Asian history. It ends with the jewel in its current controversial setting: in the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Masterly, powerful and erudite, this is history at its most compelling and invigorating.

The Author

william dalrympleWilliam Dalrymple is the bestselling author of In Xanadu, City of Djinns, From the Holy Mountain, The Age of Kali, White Mughals, The Last Mughal and, most recently, Nine Lives. He has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage, the Hemingway Prize, the French Prix d'Astrolabe, the Wolfson Prize for History, the Scottish Book of the Year Award, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Asia House Award for Asian Literature, the Vodafone Crossword Award and has three times been long listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

In 2012 he was appointed Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in Humanities at Princeton University. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.

 


 

 

 

Extras

Reviews, News & Interviews:

Extraordinary. William Dalrymple and Anita Anand have found previously ignored and untranslated Persian and Afghan sources to give us fresh information. Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Times

Dalrymple and Anand's tale is a writer's gift. Robert Leigh-Pemberton. Daily Telegraph

The history of the many who have coveted the diamond is long and involved, full of wonder and awe, treachery and bloodshed. Observer