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Summary

At 4 PM on a dark, wet, winter's evening in November 1862, a cheap coffin was buried in eerie silence - no lamentations, no panegyrics, for as the British commissioner in charge of the funeral insisted, "No vesting will remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Moghuls rests". This Mughal was Bahadur Shah Zafar II, one of the most talented, tolerant, and likeable of his remarkable dynasty, who found himself leader of a violent uprising he knew from the start would lead to irreparable carnage.

Zafar's frantic efforts to unite his forces proved tragically futile. The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad, and Mughal Delhi was left an empty ruin. The Last Mughal charts the desecration and demise of a man, his dynasty, his city, and civilizations mercilessly ravished by fractured forces and vengeful British troops.

©2006 William Dalrymple (P)2007 Bloomsbury Publishing

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 26-09-11

Another belter

I confess to being a massive fan of William Dalrymple's - everything that I have read of his work has been wonderful and this is no exception. An extraordinary subject, far too little understood in this country, is rendered lucidly and almost all the characters are entirely three-dimensional.

This would easily have merited five stars if the abridgement were not so savage. 500 and odd pages rendered into just 3 hours is just too compressed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Spotlight on history

William Dalrymple at his best. A sad story of oppression and misunderstanding on both sides. Well told etc etc etc

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A riveting and revealing account of how the East India Company operated

Fascinating, Dalrymple's usual top notch prose and research applied to the events surrounding the great mutiny of 1857 and the brutal way it was squashed. So hard to pause the account at any point it was so riveting.