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William Dalrymple (1) (1965–)

Author of City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

For other authors named William Dalrymple, see the disambiguation page.

36+ Works 10,411 Members 190 Reviews 41 Favorited

About the Author

William Dalrymple wrote the highly acclaimed British best-seller In Xanadu when he was twenty-two. It won the 1990 Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award and a Scottish Arts Council Spring Book Award; it was also shortlisted for the John Llewelyn Rhys Memorial Prize. His second book, City of Djinns, show more won the 1994 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. From the Holy Mountain was awarded the Scottish Arts Council Autumn Book Award for 1997; it was also shortlisted for the 1998 Thomas Cook Award, the John Lewelyn Rhys Memorial Prize, and the Duff Cooper Prize. A collection of his essays on India, The Age of Kali, was published in 1998. Dalrymple is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Asiatic Society and in 2002 was awarded the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographic Society for his "outstanding contribution to travel literature." He is married to the artist Olivia Fraser, and they have three children. They now divide their time between London and Delhi show less
Image credit: Ragu Rai/Magnum

Works by William Dalrymple

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi (1993) 1,449 copies
In Xanadu: A Quest (1989) 877 copies
Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company (2019) — Editor; Contributor — 39 copies
Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857 (2000) — Editor; Contributor — 23 copies
The Writer's Eye (2016) 5 copies

Associated Works

In Patagonia (1977) — Introduction — 3,272 copies
Hindoo Holiday: An Indian Journal (1932) — Introduction, some editions — 436 copies
Granta 57: India! The Golden Jubilee (1997) — Contributor — 201 copies
Begums, Thugs, and White Mughals: The Journals of Fanny Parkes (2002) — Editor; Introduction — 104 copies
AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India (2008) — Contributor — 59 copies
Oxtravels: Meetings with Remarkable Travel Writers (2011) — Contributor — 57 copies
India (2015) — Foreword, some editions — 38 copies
Steve McCurry: Afghanistan (2017) — Afterword — 23 copies
Lonely Planet Sacred India (2002) — Foreword — 20 copies
The Paris Review 192 2010 Spring (2010) — Contributor — 5 copies
Magic Markings: Tantra, Jain & Ritual Art from India (2016) — Contributor — 5 copies
Edge of Faith (2009) — Contributor — 2 copies
Delhi: Contrasts and Confluences (2009) — Introduction — 1 copy
A Journey Through India: Company School Pictures (1996) — Introduction — 1 copy


18th century (62) 19th century (75) Afghanistan (97) Asia (140) Asian History (38) biography (116) British Empire (109) British history (68) Byzantium (47) Central Asia (46) China (52) Christianity (89) colonialism (98) Delhi (110) East India Company (52) ebook (38) Egypt (37) England (39) fiction (38) history (1,175) History of India (46) imperialism (38) India (1,115) Indian History (95) Islam (51) Kindle (60) memoir (51) Middle East (183) non-fiction (621) Pakistan (43) read (56) religion (165) South Asia (66) to-read (614) travel (914) travel literature (36) travel writing (104) travelogue (50) Turkey (55) unread (49)

Common Knowledge



BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE FEBRUARY - CHRISTIE & DALRYMPLE in 75 Books Challenge for 2016 (March 2016)


Dalrymple gives an entertaining history of Delhi, India and the mughals who conquered and architected it.
ben_r47 | 26 other reviews | Feb 22, 2024 |
Between the twenties and the forties, Iris Portal’s youth had been spent in that colonial Delhi

‘In retrospect,’ I said. ‘Do you think British rule was justified?’

‘....But on balance I think you must never take land away from a people. A people’s land has a mystique. You can go and possibly order them about for a bit, perhaps introduce some new ideas, build a few good buildings, but then in the end you must go away and die in Cheltenham.’ Iris sighed. ‘And that, of course, is exactly what we did.’

I learned a lot of interesting from this book (partridge fights, Mumbai food deliverers' caste, eunuch caste etc.), interviews and dialogues very always a pleasure to read - humorous, lively, yet very often insightful. Why 4 stars then? Well, historical references and vignettes were sometimes a bit thick to wade through. Although there's probably nothing wrong with them and they're more than appropriate, it's just they're hard to digest on the go - one probably should savor them relaxed :)
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1 vote
Den85 | 26 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
William Dalrymple has achieved the impossible. It is never an easy task to write a thoroughly researched piece of history in the vein of exotic novel. Dalrymple did that in style.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The book threw light on some of the facts of Deccan/Hyderabad we tend to ignore (we are not aware of). Having been associated with Hyderabad since my childhood, the book is even more special. I own the book at much more emotional level.
harishwriter | 15 other reviews | Oct 12, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Yuthika Sharma Contributor, Editor
Salam Kaoukji Contributor
Anamika Pathak Contributor
Jake Benson Contributor
Abdullah Ghouchani Contributor
Terence McInerney Contributor
Keelan Overton Contributor
Marika Sardar Author and Curator
Maryam Ekhtiar Contributor
Metropolitan Museum of Art Corporate Author and Host Institute
Jack Ogden Contributor
Howard Ricketts Contributor
Carl Simons Producer
Ellinor Kolstad Translator
Malini Roy Contributor
J. P. Losty Contributor
Anne Blood Editing Assistant
Anandaroop Roy Cartographer
Jane Kucina Bibliography
Thomas P. Campbell Director's Foreword
Crystal Dombrow Image rights
Antonio Martinelli Architecture photographer
Andrew Topsfield Contributor
Lucian Harris Contributor
H.J. Noltie Contributor
Jean-Marie Lafont Contributor
Sunil Sharma Contributor
Vishakha N. Desai President's Foreword
Melissa Chiu Director's Preface
Olivia Fraser map and illustrations, Illustrator
Jeff Fisher Illustrator
Giovanni Giovanneta Photographer
Kudsi Erguner Contributor
Abida Parveen Contributor
Youssou N'Dour Contributor
Mercan Dede Contributor
Sain Zahoor Contributor


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