HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty:…
Loading...

The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857 (2006)

by William Dalrymple

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6941413,712 (4)18
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2198242.html

I had been disappointed with the first book I had read about India by Dalrymple, but this is a much more interesting historical narrative about the war of 1857. Dalrymple has two main characters in his tale: the eponymous last Moghul Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who unintentionally found himself at the head of an anti-colonial movement that shook the British Empire to its core, and the city of Delhi itself, which was forever changed by the conflict, its human inhabitants expelled and much of its architecture mutilated.

To an extent, one bloody conflict is very like another, but there were some striking points in the narrative. First off, that the British came very close to losing, several times; had the Indians been just a little better organised, they could have taken the besieging British force from the rear at their leisure, or indeed crushed them when they finally entered Delhi at the end of the siege. This would have needed better leadership than Bahadur Shah Zafar and his sons were able to provide; but not very much better. My father always used to say that armies in general are so badly run that it is fortunate that they usually only have to fight other armies, which tend to have exactly the same problems.

Second, it was very interesting to see how a complex ethnic conflict, with Muslims and Hindus on both sides, became simplified by British commentators in the immediate aftermath as a matter of European civilisation versus Islamic extremism. There were indeed Islamic extremists, Wahhabists even, associated with Bahadur Shah Zafar; they arrived late and were ineffective and indisciplined, except to an extent in intimidating their own potential allies. But their presence was used as justification for the brutality of the British response, and as the basis for the Western interpretation of the war. Dalrymple doesn't over-egg the comparison with more recent events, but he really doesn't have to.

Third, knowing very little about Delhi and its history, I could still share Dalrymple's grief at the destruction of the old, mixed, liberal, cultural, educated city, a choice partly brought about by the conduct of the insurgent forces but mainly by deliberate choice of the victorious British. It may not be too much to say that the conflicts of ninety years later, and after, had their roots in the sack of Delhi in 1857. A more dignified outcome then could have made for a better transition all round subsequently.

Anyway, I learned a lot from this. ( )
  nwhyte | Nov 16, 2013 |
In history, The Last Mughal refers to the Last de jure Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II. But this book, although named after Zafar, is not a biography of the Emperor. It is a about the Delhi that Zafar personified and is an unbiased testament about the rebellion that had turned an army mutiny into the largest uprising against the British Empire. In his book The Last Mughal, William Dalrymple skilfully portrays the last days of the Mughal Empire and the fall of a dynasty post the mutiny of 1857.

Read the complete review on my blog
http://thebookoutline.blogspot.in/2012/06/last-mughal.html ( )
  theBookOutline | Sep 28, 2012 |
This is a remarkable history. I knew almost nothing about the 1857 revolt in India and so wanted an introductory narrative account as background before I read J.G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur (Booker Prize 1973), but I think The Last Mughal may end up leaving a more lasting impression. It's every bit as dramatic as fiction, all true, all the more tragic. Dalrymple's style has been compared to Edward Gibbon -- a mixed compliment for a 21st century author -- but I think he does combine modern scholarship with the best of old school narrative non-fiction that made Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire such a remarkable work of literature. Dalrymple's style and technique brings back something that is often lost in modern history writing. The extreme characters, crazy events and exotic times are dramatic, and Dalrymple knows how to let the sources speak to effect without editorializing. By focusing on a single city and a single year, and with access to veritable library of primary source documents rarely seen before in western accounts, Dalrymple has created a richly detailed and riveting narrative about the Indian Mutiny that still has relevance today in shaping perception about this part of the world.

--Review by Stephen Balbach, via CoolReading (c) 2010 cc-by-nd ( )
  Stbalbach | Dec 18, 2010 |
Dalrymple's passion for Delhi is unparalleled and this is depicted again in this work-"The Last Mughal", in which he traces the history of Delhi through the 1857 revolt and annihilation that transformed the city into the graveyard as it exists today. Dalrymple laments on the vengeance wrecked by his fellow countrymen on the city and its denizens through mass killings and destruction, of how they wiped off the entire Muslim population, razed several historical monuments to the ground and officially brought down the greatest dynasty of Mughals that had ruled India for 332 years.

He gives an unbiased account of the period, reserving his opinion and just trailing the story based on the facts that he was able to find in the archives. Must read for anyone passionate about history.
http://randommuzings.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/the-entwined-d/ ( )
  Richak | Jul 13, 2010 |
Interesting and very readablr ( )
  MargaSE | Mar 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To my beloved Ibby
First words
At 4 P.M. on a hazy, humid winter's afternoon in Rangoon in November 1862, soon after the end of the monsoon, a shrouded corpse was escorted by a small group of British soldiers to an anonymous grave at the back of a walled prison enclosure.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Brilliant historical account. A must read!!
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

A portrait of Mughal emperor, poet, and mystic Bahadur Shah Zafar II relates the 1857 armed uprising against British rule, the fall of the Mughal capital of Delhi and its subsequent destruction, and Zafar's final days as an exile in Burma.

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
78 wanted
3 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2 4
2.5
3 12
3.5 8
4 42
4.5 11
5 21

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,285,915 books! | Top bar: Always visible