by Vijaya Scundia
About the book: This is a description of contemporary India and some of its recent history in the form of an autobiography. Rajmata Scindia is a member of the Indian Parliament. As a maharani she had thousands of servants and several enormous palaces. Since Independence, which marked the end of the supremacy of the Maharajas, she has emerged as one of India’s most popular political leaders, first with the Congress party and now with the opposition. Her appeal to the masses, who see her as an image of Mother India, amazes both her admirers and her critics.
by Lucy Moore
About the book: Until the 1920s, to be a Maharani, wife to the Maharajah, was to be tantalizingly close to the power and glamour of the Raj, but locked away in purdah as near chattel. Even the educated, progressive Maharani of Baroda, Chimnabai—born into the aftermath of the 1857 Indian Mutiny—began her marriage this way, but her ravishing daughter, Indira, had other ideas. She became the Regent of Cooch Behar, one of the wealthiest regions of India while her daughter, Ayesha, was elected to the Indian Parliament. The lives of these influential women embodied the delicate interplay between rulers and ruled, race and culture, subservience and independence, Eastern and Western ideas, and ancient and modern ways of life in the bejeweled exuberance of Indian aristocratic life in the final days both of the Raj, and the British Empire. Tracing these larger than life characters as they bust every known stereotype, Lucy Moore creates a vivid picture of an emerging modern, democratic society in India and the tumultous period of Imperialism from which it arose. Through the sumptuous, adventurous lives of three generations of Indian queens—from the period following the Indian Mutiny of 1857 to the present, Lucy Moore traces the cultural and political changes that transformed their world.
by Coralie Younger
About the book: Set Against The Backdrop Of India`S Independence Struggle, The Book Has A Delicious And Potent Music Of Flavours-The End Of The British Raj And Downfall Of The Pompous And Extravagant Indian Aristocracy.
by Abida Sultaan
About the book: Written shortly before her death and based on the diaries that she kept throughout her life, this book documents the activities of a Muslim princess who rebelled against societal conventions to take an active public role, first, as heir-apparent and chief secretary of an Indian princely state, then as diplomat and dissident in independent Pakistan.
by Shaharyar M. Khan
About the book: Between 1819 and 1926 four Muslim women rulers reigned over Bhopal, the second largest Muslim state of India, despite staunch opposition from powerful neighbors and male claimants. Even the British India Company initially opposed female rule in Bhopal until the Begums quoted Queen Victoria as their model and inspiration. Each Begum--or Queen--impressed her own personality on the role and succeeded in reigning over a mostly Hindu population. Qudisa, the first Begum, was supported by her powerful French-Bourbon Prime Minister in her departure from the traditional. She was succeeded in 1844 by Sikandar, her only daughter, who was also followed by her only daughter, the highly controversial Shahjehan. The story ends with the last Begum, Sultan Jehan, and her abdication in favor of her son, the first male ruler (Nawab) of Bhopal in five generations. This book offers the first balanced history of the state.
by John Lall
About the book: A fascinating re-creation of the life and times of the dazzling nautch girl who became the celebrated Begam Samru after her marriage to a foreign military adventurer, General Reinhardt. She shared his dangers and tortuous intrigues in the turbulent ?time of troubles? in the eighteenth century. When he died she took over his jagir, converted to Christianity and steered a perilous course with uncanny skill through the Moghul empire?s last days and the evergrowing power of the British. The life story of this extraordinary Christian princess has no parallel in the transition from chaos to order in Hindustan two hundred years ago. Her memory lives on in the splendid cathedral she built at Sardhana near Meerut which continues to draw thousands of visitors from far and near.
by Julia Keay
About the book: Probably the first authoritative study of one of the most colourful characters in Indian history Farzana tells the rags-to-riches story of one of the most colourful characters in Indian history. In a life spanning the chaotic years between the collapse of the Mughal empire and advent of the British, this child of the streets beguiled her way to command of a private army, confidante of the emperor and ruler of the most progressive principality in northern India. Her troops often held the balance of power. Her hospitality was the talk of the age. And, converting to Christianity, her piety found her corresponding with the Pope and building a church that may still be the largest basilica in the country.
by Anita Anand
About the book: In 1876 Sophia Duleep Singh was born into Indian royalty. Her father, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, one of the greatest empires of the Indian subcontinent, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything, including the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond. Exiled to England, the dispossessed Maharajah transformed his estate at Elveden in Suffolk into a Moghul palace, its grounds stocked with leopards, monkeys and exotic birds. Sophia, god-daughter of Queen Victoria, was raised a genteel aristocratic Englishwoman: presented at court, afforded grace and favor lodgings at Hampton Court Palace and photographed wearing the latest fashions for the society pages. But when, in secret defiance of the British government, she travelled to India, she returned a revolutionary. Sophia transcended her heritage to devote herself to battling injustice and inequality, a far cry from the life to which she was born. Her causes were the struggle for Indian Independence, the fate of the lascars, the welfare of Indian soldiers in the First World War ? and, above all, the fight for female suffrage. She was bold and fearless, attacking politicians, putting herself in the front line and swapping her silks for a nurse's uniform to tend wounded soldiers evacuated from the battlefields. Meticulously researched and passionately written, this enthralling story of the rise of women and the fall of empire introduces an extraordinary individual and her part in the defining moments of recent British and Indian history.