Who was the last Mughal?
After a feast of military based books, I decided to chase one of my other interests, history. I had started “The last Mughal : the fall of a dynasty: Delhi, 1857” by William Dalrymple, a couple of years ago but didn’t finish it. As it turns out, that was my loss as reading it is has been worthwhile.
Based around the Indian Mutiny and the siege of Delhi in 1857, the real focus of this book is the disaster that was the colonization of India, and the problems brought about by Victorian attitudes and the virtual destruction of a 300 year old dynasty and culture. This is deeper than just a war book.
So while there are descriptions of battles, there’s more about the destruction of the people socially as religious, economic and barely hidden prejudices tear apart age-old communities. This book covers all the victims of wars whether they be king or pauper, European or Indian, Christian, Hindu or Muslim. An interesting read, it’s also well written and flows well, which is important with 578 pages to get through. In my view, the author may lose the gist of the story at times but he never loses the fact that the story is about the people and not the war.
This book takes the reader into a lost world that is seldom written about, and teaches insightful and rarely learnt knowledge through which we can view the world that much clearer.
More about the Mogul Empire