William Dalrymple and Anita Anand have published (15th June 2017) the first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i Noor, the most celebrated diamond in the world. On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the centre of the great Fort in Lahore. There, in a public ceremony, the frightened but dignified child handed over to the British East India Company in a formal Act of Submission to Queen Victoria not only swathes of the richest land in India, but also arguably the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i Noor diamond. The Mountain of Light.
The history of the Koh-i-Noor that was then commissioned by the British may have been one woven together from gossip of Delhi Bazaars, but it was to be become the accepted version. Only now is it finally challenged, freeing the diamond from the fog of mythology which has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism and appropriation through an impressive slice of south and central Asian history. It ends with the jewel in its current controversial setting: in the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Masterly, powerful and erudite, this is history at its most compelling and invigorating
Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond
by William Dalrymple (Author), Anita Anand (Author)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (15th June 2017)
ISBN-10: 140888884X (Hardcover)
ASIN: B06XRCXBPL (Kindle Ed.)
ISBN-10: 1408888866 (Paperback
Guide Price: Kindle Ed – £7.91, Hardcover – £11.89, Paperback – £8.97
Click here to buy Kindle Edition, Hardcover Ed., Paperback Ed.
About the authors
William Dalrymple was born in Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. He wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu when he was twenty-two. City of Djinns won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. The Age of Kali won the French Prix D’Astrolabe and White Mughals won the Wolfson Prize for History 2003 and the Scottish Book of the Year Prize. The Last Mughal was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. His most recent book, Nine Lives, was published in 2009 to huge acclaim. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.
Anita Anand has been a radio and television journalist for almost twenty years. She is the presenter of Any Answers on BBC Radio 4. During her career, she has also presented Drive, Doubletake and the Anita Anand Show on Radio 5 Live, and Saturday Live, The Westminster Hour, Beyond Westminster, Midweek and Woman’s Hour on Radio 4. On BBC television she has presented The Daily Politics, The Sunday Politics and Newsnight. She lives in west London. Sophia is her first book. It is the winner of the Eastern Eye Alchemy Festival Award for Literature and was shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize.