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Last Mughal [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

William Dalrymple
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Kurzbeschreibung

7. September 2009
On a dark evening in November 1862, a cheap coffin is buried in eerie silence. There are no lamentations or panegyrics, for the British Commissioner in charge has insisted, 'No vesting will remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Mughals rests.' This Mughal is Bahadur Shah Zafar II, one of the most tolerant and likeable of his remarkable dynasty who found himself leader of a violent and doomed uprising. The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad, the end of both Mughal power and a remarkable culture.

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Last Mughal + The Return of a King: Shah Shuja and the First Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42 + City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 608 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bloomsbury Publishing (7. September 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1408800926
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408800928
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 19,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 44.838 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'Dalrymple is an outstandingly gifted travel writer and historian who excels himself in his latest work' Max Hastings, Sunday Times 'Vivid unmatched revolutionary humane No previous book has delved so deeply into the history of Delhi in those days, nor painted such a vivid portrait of the late Mughal court' Sunday Telegraph 'Brims with life, colour and complexity outstanding one of the best history books of the year' Evening Standard 'Magnificent shames the simplistic efforts of previous writers' Spectator

Synopsis

At 4pm on a dark, wet winter's evening in November 1862, a cheap plywood coffin was buried to the eerie sound of 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.' The last of the Great Mughals was Bahadur Shah Zafar II: one of the most talented, tolerant and likeable of his remarkable dynasty, he found himself in the position of leader of a violent uprising he knew from the start would lead to irreparable carnage. Zafar's frantic efforts to unite his disparate and mutually suspicious forces proved tragically futile: the Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad, and Mughal Delhi was left an empty ruin, haunted by battered remnants of a past that was being rapidly and brutally overwritten. "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.

William Dalrymple unearths groundbreaking new material to create the first English account of the life of the last Emperor, and the first narrative of the Mutiny to contain large quantities of material from the Indian perspective. "The Last Mughal" rapidly changes our understanding of a pivotal moment in Indian and Imperial history. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


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Kundenrezensionen

4.0 von 5 Sternen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen very good 31. März 2014
Von Annika
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Book in excellent shape. Seller described it right and it was sent in time and without any flaw in the handling of the purchase! Thank you!
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Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Sehr detailliert und mit extrem viel Information ,für einen Historikerlaien teiweise leicht überfordernde
Literatur,insgesamt ein neuer Blickwinkel auf die Kolonialmacht GB und die Wurzeln der Spaltung Indiens
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1 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Tedious 8. Februar 2013
Von anne
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I havent yet finished this book, as it is rather tedious, so maybe it's unfair to review it. I shall perservere, however and will rewrite this review if the book improves. Certainly, it is heavy going in comparison to a biography I bought via Kindle on Henry Stanley. That was exciting from beginning to end.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr schönes Buch mit viel neunem Wissen 10. November 2012
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Ich habe dieses Buch von A bis Z gelesen. Das ist eine sehr gute Informationsquelle über die Grausamkeit der Engländer als Kolonialherren in (islamischen)Indien. Sie haben zum Schluß den Mughal König Bahur Shah Zafar gedemütigt (z.B. in 1857). Er wurde am Ende seines Lebens nach Rangoon geschoben und bekam eine Monatsrente von 5 Rupees (4 - 5 USD). Der Herr des Hauses und der letzte König, starb wie ein Bettler im Ausland. Der Auto hat das Buch aus den urspünglich Urdu- und Perischen Quellen aus der Delhi Archive zusammenstellt. Viele Hindus sind heute gegen das Mughal Empire, aber diese Leute lesen keine richtige Bücher. Es gibt heute viele rechtsradikale Hindus.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 von 5 Sternen  81 Rezensionen
74 von 75 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "The light has gone out of India. The land is lampless." 12. August 2007
Von Douglas S. Wood - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
A great strength of 'The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857' by William Dalrymple (White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India) is its use not only of more familiar British sources, but also many Indian (Urdu and Persian) sources on one of pivotal events in the history of both India and the British Empire, the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 or the First War of Indian Independence as it is also sometimes called.

Dalrymple describes his excitement at discovering some 20,000 Persian and Urdu documents in the Indian national Archives. A particularly important source was the 'Dihli Urdu Akhbar' a principal Urdu newspaper that continued to publish during the revolt. These sources allow Dalrymple to give voice to the Indian as well the British point of view.

In 1857 the sepoys of the British Raj's Bengal Army mutinied (the reasons are explored in the book, but were at least partly due to a clash of newly arrived Christian evangelicals and adherents of Islam and Hindu). What began as mutiny became something larger at least in part because the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II endorsed it.

Dalrymple centers his telling of the tale on Zafar, the man destined to become the last Mughal emperor. By 1857 the Mughal Emperor possessed no real tangible power and was nothing more than the King of Delhi as he was derisively called. An aesthete himself, Zafar was singularly well-suited to his role as head of a court that elevated culture, poetry in particular, but wholly unsuited by temperament and age (he was 82 years old) to a role as leader of an armed revolt.

Delhi before 1857 was a remarkably tolerant mix of Hindu and Islam - roughly a 50/50 split - in part because of Zafar's manner of ruling. Zafar's acceptance of a titular leadership in the revolt meant that both Muslims and Hindi rallied to the cause. That symbolic role, however, was about all Zafar brought to the war.

The revolt began to flounder almost immediately due a lack of proper direction and discipline. The Sepoy regiments each acted independently and allowed a much smaller British force (ostensibly come to lay siege to the city) to survive repeated but serial attacks. The early stages of the revolt also saw horrific slaughter of noncombatant and unarmed British residents.

Eventually the British took the city and the revenge they took is described by Dalrymple in bloody detail. The killings were nothing short of mass murder and heartily endorsed by nearly every Britisher with any knowledge of it (William Howard Russell was one exception). Men who had lost family in the initial outbreak were allowed to massacre at will for months - Theo Metcalfe is the most notable example. Those locals not killed were left homeless and starving.

The British executed nearly the entire Mughal royal family and would have done so for Zafar, but for the promise that his life would be spared if he surrendered. It was a promise that the British determined they were bound to keep even though they didn't like it much.

One supposes this example represents Victorian attitudes about rectitude that the British somehow held in their heads at the same time that they authored unspeakable murdering sprees. In a somewhat lighter example, Dalrymple quotes a British soldier's letter written to his mum on the eve of battle in which the youth expresses his fear that engaging in the fight may cause him to swear!

As stated at the outset the rich sources give 'The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857' its strength, but Dalrymple's over-reliance on the raw materials makes the book drag to its conclusion. For the last 100+ pages, Dalrymple sometimes gives over the narrative to his primary sources as page after page consists substantially of quotes from letters, reports, or memoirs. Dalrymple also spends only the briefest time placing the events of 1857 in a larger historical framework.

Nonetheless, the book is a triumph of research and offers that rarity in historical writing, the truly fresh perspective. Dalrymple gives voice to the Indian perspective of the fall of Delhi. As the great court poet Ghalib so poignantly expressed it, "The light has gone out of India. The land is lampless."

Highly recommended.
103 von 109 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "The further backward you look.... 19. März 2007
Von Prashant Rao - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
....the further forward you can see." This is what Sir Winston Churchill said when talking about the relevance of history to one's current circumstance.

I cannot help but recall these words, after reading William Dalrymple's brilliant

"The Last Mughal".

William Dalrymple's latest book uses Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last emperor of the Mughal dynasty, to recreate the vibrant city of Delhi, in the 1850's. A culturally diverse, almost cosmopolitan city, of which Bahadur Shah Zafar, was the mere figurehead. A city which epitomized,the India of the Mughals, where the Hindus and Muslims co-existed peacefully. In fact a rich culture and social fabric existed due to this pluralistic co-existence.

The mutiny of 1857 proved to be the fall of the Mughal Dynasty, and the end of this vibrant way of life.

Dalrymple, researched this book for over 4 years and accessed sources, which were until now, never used to narrate the history of those seminal times. "The Mutiny Papers", which were found on the shelves of National Archives of India, detailed through "great unwieldy mountains of chits, pleas, orders, petitions, complaints, receipts, rolls of attendance and lists of casualties...notes from spies of dubious reliability and letters from eloping lovers...", a very uniquely Indian point of view and perspective. An important voice, which until now has been missing in the retelling of the "Sepoys Mutiny".

For me as an Indian, it is very important to understand this point of view. To know about my true cultural heritage, about strands of my identity which were sundered by the British, along their (in)famous "Divide and Rule" policy.

Consider this, most of the history books, have been written by the British in some form...so the opinions I have formed, and the perspectives I have, have been developed by the "British" outlook and essentially the Victorian take on history.

I think, India as a society is richer due to the Mughals and despite the popular opinion and recorded history (who wrote it, you guessed it right...the British !!), they went out of their way to ensure a secular society and a safe environment, for Hindu religion, culture and arts to flourish. In fact as mentioned in the book, the only thing Zafar was decisive about in those trying times was his "refusal to alienate his Hindu subjects by subscribing to the demands of the jihadis."

Did you know for instance that most of the Indian intellectuals of the late 19th century and the early 20th century, were schooled in madrassas, including people like Raja Rammohan Roy...The madrassas, were considered to provide well rounded education, not just math and science, but also the humanities, eastern philosophy and the arts...it was only due to the rising influence of Christianity in India, in the late 19th century and the drive for conversions, which lead the madrassas to reinforce the study of Islam in their curriculum, and for them to increasingly move along the path of fundamentalism.

It is due to all this and also because of an extremely evocative account of 1857 skirmishes, that this book is a must read.

You owe it yourself, as a citizen of the world, living in a these troubled times terrorized by religious fundamentalism.

As Sir Churchill, prophesied, it will only help us look "further forward."
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Dalrymple tackles the complexities of the Mutiny with ease 22. Juli 2007
Von chefdevergue - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
For those few carping reviewers among us, this is not a history of the Mughal Empire, nor is it a history of the Sepoy Mutiny as a whole. Nor is it (even though Zafar is the main figure through the entire narrative) biography. What it is, is an examination of Delhi, the last bastion of the Mughal dynasty & basically a self-contained entity unto itself, suddenly & unexpectedly found itself at the center of one of the most vicious conflicts in the history of the Subcontinent.

In his preface, Dalrymple observes that studies of the Mutiny assume "two parallel streams of historiography," using different (but predominantly English) sources. Dalrymple has attempted to bring together all of these sources as well as the largely neglected non-English sources. With these resources in hand, the Mutiny assumes a new, far more complex appearance than before. Far from being a simple conflict between natives & colonial overlords, it becomes apparent that this actually was a six-sided (seven sides, if one includes the bandits in the countryside) conflict. The assorted factions, even those presumably on the same side, oftentimes had precious little common ground, and for the rebelling side, this frequent lack of unity ultimately spelled doom to the uprising.

Caught in the middle of the tumult of rebellion & upheaval are the residents of Delhi & the decrepit Emperor, embroiled in a war they neither desired nor invited. Dalrymple has precious little sympathy for either the British or the rebels, both of whom committed unforgiveable atrocities throughout, but he clearly feels the pain of the Emperor & the Delhiwallahs, caught in a no-win situation.

Some of Dalrymple's critics accuse him (disingenously, I believe) of taking a romanticized view of the Mughals & viewing their ultimate downfall as a tragedy. Don't forget, they say, the Mughals were ruthless conquerers also. To this I would say, remember that the Mughal in question is Bahadur Shah II, not Babur. If you want of a survey of the Mughals as ruthless conquerers, then perhaps a biography of Babur or Humayun would be in order. I would also point out that it is perhaps more fair to say that Dalrymple sees two tragedies resulting from this affair: the destruction of Delhi & its culture, and the religious radicalization following the final assertion of power by Britain over the Subcontinent.

Dalrymple also points out that there are more than a few parallels between then & now. It is worth noting that a belief system becoming radicalized as the result of foreign incursion is nothing new. The British exploited this radicalization as they pursued a "divide & rule" strategy in India, but even the Raj lasted less than a century. Despite their best efforts, the British ultimately had to withdraw. Hmmm.

All in all, a superb effort. Despite the tremendous amount of detail, the narrative flows with ease, and this proved to be a very lively read. Nowhere does the narrative bog down. While accessible, it is nonetheless serious history. Should he choose to do so, Dalrymple could well be on his way to becoming one of the preminent historians of this period.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A research of first order. 10. Mai 2007
Von Rao Nasir Khan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Exactly 150 years ago, today the first shot of the revolt of 1857 was fired. Today India celebrates what I grew up learning as "The first war of Indian independence".

Most of the history taught in Indian schools is written by the 20th century socialist, nationalist historians and that became my frame of reference. I always looked back at the "war" of 1857 with some sense of pride, it was a time we were told - Hindus and Muslims came together to fight off the British yoke, when oppressed poor rose up against the zamindars and money lenders, when nationalism was a common thread that tied the widespread war, where mendicants carried the message of revolution in secret chappatis and women joined the men in the struggle for independence. Overall a romantic nationalist picture painted by secular historians.

This book by Dalrymple shatters the myth I was raised with. He, based upon his meticulous research and conflation from disparate documentation, both native and British, conclusively proves that the outbreak of May 10, 1857 was a bloody communal riot.

At least it started like that, except that the wrath of both Hindus and Muslims combine fell on the hapless British men, women and children.

There is no pride whatsoever in what happened on the days of May 10 and May 11.

In fact it should be marked as a day of mourning when the sepoys marched into Delhi and in just first 48 hours massacred all Christians in the capital. Not just killed but chopped into pieces. No one was spared, not even pregnant women. Just a few survived who either escaped just in time or were sheltered by some Delhiwallahs.

In fact on this day started what would be one of the biggest catastrophes to befall on the magnificent capital of Mughal India, from which it has not emerged in many ways till today.

Dalrymple writes this book almost as a war correspondent embedded with troops on either side. His narrative is full of real life events, hour by hour, as they unfolded in those fateful times. It is a research in history that parallels the deciphering of Brahmi by James Princep. It opens the door to one of the darkest and bloodiest period of Indian history which laid the foundation of an even bloodier event, the partition of 1947.

He also clearly shows that the outbreak which was united at least from Indian perspective was soon hijacked by a bunch of Jihadis, coloring it with an extremist Islamic color, despite the whole hearted attempts of the King and Princes to retain the united fervor.

This became one of the turning points in the history of this struggle and became an excuse for a pogrom of worst kind perpetuated by British against Muslims of Delhi.

If you survive reading the brutality of Indians in the first half of the book you will find it hard to not get deeply disturbed at the unimaginable savagery that the victorious British unleashed on the Indians. More than a hundred thousand people, a large number of them innocent were ruthlessly killed, war crimes of worst kind committed, women raped (though it was conclusively proved that the mutineers never committed any rape, albeit all the killing), mosques and graves desecrated, property looted, buildings destroyed and all this happened in the backdrop of shameless inducements of Padres quoting the Bible out of context.

While British murderers and looters leached the city of all its people and possessions, what is also insightful is that in their heinous crimes they were aided, in fact surpassed by their "Indian" mercenaries who were predominantly Sikh, Gurkha and Pathan in origin.

It would not be wrong to say that this war was predominantly Hindustanee (confined mostly to Hindi speaking belt) in nature and the "foreign" mercenaries (from other parts of India) had no qualms in squashing it and taking home the booty.

What is also shameful is the fact that these British murderers and pillagers not only remained scot-free above the law but were also decorated by the British government. Prize agents who plundered the Indian treasures and shamelessly broke and sold even the paneled walls of many palaces or Red fort, were knighted.

Perhaps nothing is more poignant than the disgusting treatment meted out to the King and Princes on whom the British had no jurisdiction. The whole trial was not only a farce but was completely illegal, even by British view point.

Overall this book is not for the weak hearted, but it is a must read for anyone who wants to learn the true history of that period.

I hope the findings of this incredible work will find their way into history text books in India and dispel the myths that the youth are made to believe in.

Nothing is more dangerous than fiction wrapped in history text books because "if we do not learn from history, we are destined to repeat it".
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Power of Culture 2. Juni 2007
Von John T. McCabe - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The Last Mughal is an engrossing history of the events that occurred in Deli, India in 1857, which centers about the Emperor - the Last Great Mughal - caught in the middle between his Islamic and Hindu subjects who formed a rebel army, and the Colonial British army of the East India Company.

The trouble started when the British army replaced the rifle issued to the sepoys - the Hindu and Islamic Indian privates who joined the British army. The rifle replaced was a smooth bore; the new rifle - the Enfield - was manufactured with a rifled bore. Rifling cased the bullet to spin in the bore which resulted in increased range and accuracy compared to the smooth bore. However, to overcome the added friction, the ball ammunition needed to be greased. The shooter had to bite off the top of the cartridge and pour the powder down the barrel.

The author describes how the insensitivity of the British to Indian culture allowed the cartridges to be coated with cow fat, which was anathema to the majority of sepoys. This affront was interpreted as an attack by British Christians against Hindu fundamental religious customs. Thus began the conflict that killed thousands and destroyed the last great Mughal.

The author did a fabulous job of retrieving, reading and patching together thousands of documents and correspondence to form a detailed history of the events that lead to the destruction of Delhi and the dethroning of the Emperor.

The Last Mughal is a riveting book of historic events that is easily worth a five star rating.
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