In Xanadu, now anchors himself in India around the turn of the 19th century to focus on James Kirkpatrick, an officer for the"/>
 

WHITE MUGHALS: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India

William Dalrymple, Author
William Dalrymple, Author . Viking $27.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-670-03184-9
Paperback - 459 pages - 978-0-14-200412-8
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-101-08327-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 512 pages - 978-1-101-08921-7
Prebound-Glued - 459 pages - 978-0-7569-5726-1
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-101-09812-7
Paperback - 580 pages - 978-0-00-655096-9
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Dalrymple, author of the bestselling In Xanadu, now anchors himself in India around the turn of the 19th century to focus on James Kirkpatrick, an officer for the East India Company and the British Resident, representing the British government, in the Indian city-state of Hyderabad. Kirkpatrick, who converted to Islam and, after a celebrated and notorious romance, married Khair un-Nissa, the teenage great-niece of the region's prime minister, exemplifies the "White Mughals," British colonialists who "went native." One of the book's strengths is its stunningly detailed depiction of day-to-day life—gardens, food, sexual mores, modes of travel and architecture—and portraits of British governors-general, Indian politicians, their wives and families, and adventurers. It is also an astute study of the political complications Kirkpatrick faced because of his conversion and cross-cultural marriage, and the difficulties his divided loyalties caused him in his role as agent of the increasingly imperialistic British. But most suspenseful is the fate of Kirkpatrick's willful and charismatic wife, just 19 when he died in 1805, and the fate of their children. The twists and turns in the life of their daughter—sent to England when she was five, never to return to India or see her mother again—are fascinating. Dalrymple makes note of the present schism, which some believe unbridgeable, between Western and Eastern civilizations and Kirkpatrick's tale as a counterexample that the two can meet. Illus., maps. (On sale Mar. 31)

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