William Dalrymple - Author

About the Author

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 BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize and won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Dehli.

 

Author photo © Karoki Lewi

Featured books by William Dalrymple

Other books by William Dalrymple

Mountstuart Elphinstone in South Asia Pioneer of British Colonial Rule

Mountstuart Elphinstone in South Asia Pioneer of British Colonial Rule

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/09/2018

Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779-1859), Lowland Scottish traveller, East India Company civil servant and educator, was one of the principal intellectual architects of British colonial rule in South Asia. Imbued with liberal views, such that Bombay's wealthy founded Elphinstone College in his memory, he pioneered the scholarly, scientific and administrative foundations of imperialism in India. Elphinstone's career was launched when he was picked to lead the inaugural British diplomatic mission to the Afghan court. His Account of the Kingdom of Caubul (1815) became the main source of British information about Afghanistan. He is best known for his periods as Resident at Poona and Governor of Bombay in the 1810s and 1820s, when he instituted innovative and lasting policies in administration and education while also conducting research for his extremely influential History of India (1841). This volume examines Mountstuart Elphinstone's intellectual contributions and administrative career in their own right, in relation to prominent contemporaries including Charles Metcalfe and William Moorcroft, and in the context of later historical study of India, Afghanistan, British imperialism and its imperial frontiers.

Koh-I-Noor The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Koh-I-Noor The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Author: William Dalrymple, Anita Anand Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/05/2018

The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world. On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old maharaja 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 great swathes of the richest country in India in a formal Act of Submission to a private corporation, the East India Company. He was also compelled to hand over to the British monarch, Queen Victoria, perhaps the single most valuable object on 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 become the accepted version. Only now is it finally challenged, freeing the diamond from the fog of mythology that has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism and appropriation told 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.

The Mosaic Account of Creation ... Illustrated

The Mosaic Account of Creation ... Illustrated

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/08/2017

Tacticks

Tacticks

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/08/2017

Koh-i-Noor The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Koh-i-Noor The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Author: William Dalrymple, Anita Anand Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/2017

The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world. On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old maharaja 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 great swathes of the richest country in India in a formal Act of Submission to a private corporation, the East India Company. He was also compelled to hand over to the British monarch, Queen Victoria, perhaps the single most valuable object on 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 become the accepted version. Only now is it finally challenged, freeing the diamond from the fog of mythology that has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism and appropriation told 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

Koh-I-Noor The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond

Author: William Dalrymple, Anita Anand Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/06/2017

The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel 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.

Last Mughal (Hindi)

Last Mughal (Hindi)

Author: William Dalrymple Format: eBook Release Date: 06/01/2017

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.

Kohinoor

Kohinoor

Author: William Dalrymple, Anita Anand Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/11/2016

Nine Lives In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

Nine Lives In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/05/2016

A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet - then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death. Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Dalrymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the ancient traditions that endure to this day. LONGLISTED FOR THE BBC SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE

The Writer's Eye

The Writer's Eye

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/03/2016

Tacticks

Tacticks

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/08/2015

The Mosaic Account of Creation ... Illustrated

The Mosaic Account of Creation ... Illustrated

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/08/2015

Return of a King The Battle for Afghanistan

Return of a King The Battle for Afghanistan

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2014

In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the high mountain passes and re-established on the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk. On the way in, the British faced little resistance. But after two years of occupation, the Afghan people rose in answer to the call for jihad and the country exploded into violent rebellion. The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain's greatest military humiliation of the nineteenth century: an entire army of the then most powerful nation in the world ambushed in retreat and utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen. Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2013, Return of a King is the definitive analysis of the First Afghan War, told through the lives of unforgettable characters on all sides and using for the first time contemporary Afghan accounts of the conflict. Prize-winning and bestselling historian William Dalrymple's masterful retelling of Britain's greatest imperial disaster is a powerful and important parable of colonial ambition and cultural collision, folly and hubris, for our times.

Deadly Triangle

Deadly Triangle

Author: William Dalrymple Format: eBook Release Date: 18/12/2013

An eminent historian looks to the present and future of Afghanistan as the U.S. withdraws from the longest war in its history. THE BROOKINGS ESSAY: In the spirit of its commitment to high-quality, independent research, the Brookings Institution has commissioned works on major topics of public policy by distinguished authors, including Brookings scholars. The Brookings Essay is a multi-platform product aimed to engage readers in open dialogue and debate. The views expressed, however, are solely those of the author. Available in ebook only.

Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857

Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/02/2012

Between the years 1707 and 1857, the cultural center of Delhi in North India was the locus of a dramatic shift of power with the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the British Raj. This critical transitional period altered Indian culture, politics, and art, and brought unprecedented artistic innovation and experimentation. The artistic flowering of this time is evident in jewel-like portraits, miniature paintings, striking panoramas, and exquisite decorative arts crafted for Mughal emperors and European residents alike. Sumptuous color illustrations of such works illuminate the pages of this book, painting a vivid portrait of this important city and its art, artists, and patrons. Masterworks by major Mughal artists, such as Nidha Mal and Ghulam Ali Khan, and works by non-Mughal artists demonstrate the dynamic interplay of artistic production at this time. This largely overlooked period is explored in thought-provoking essays by a panel of distinguished scholars of Indian art, history, and literature to present an engaging look at this dynamic artistic culture in the midst of rapid change.

The Last Mughal The Fall of Delhi, 1857

The Last Mughal The Fall of Delhi, 1857

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/09/2009

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.

White Mughals Love and Betrayal in 18th-Century India

White Mughals Love and Betrayal in 18th-Century India

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2003

From the author of the Samuel Johnson prize-shortlisted `Return of a King', the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time. James Achilles Kirkpatrick was the British Resident at the court of Hyderabad when he met Khair un-Nissa - `Most Excellent among Women' - the great-niece of the Prime Minister of Hyderabad. He fell in love with her and overcame many obstacles to marry her, converting to Islam and, according to Indian sources, becoming a double-agent working against the East India Company. It is a remarkable story, but such things were not unknown: from the early sixteenth century to the eve of the Indian Mutiny, the `white Mughals' who wore local dress and adopted Indian ways were a source of embarrassment to successive colonial administrations. Dalrymple unearths such colourful figures as `Hindoo Stuart', who travelled with his own team of Brahmins to maintain his temple of idols, and Sir David Auchterlony, who took all 13 of his Indian wives out for evening promenades, each on the back of her own elephant. In `White Mughals', William Dalrymple discovers a world almost entirely unexplored by history, and places at its centre a compelling tale of seduction and betrayal.

The Age of Kali Travels and Encounters in India

The Age of Kali Travels and Encounters in India

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/02/1999

William Dalrymple, who wrote so magically about India in `City of Djinns', returns to the country in a series of remarkable essays. Featured in its pages are 15-year-old guerrilla girls and dowager Maharanis; flashy Bombay drinks parties and violent village blood feuds; a group of vegetarian terrorists intent on destroying India's first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet; and a palace where port and cigars are still carried to guests on a miniature silver steam train. Dalrymple meets such figures as Imran Khan and Benazir Bhutto; he witnesses the macabre nightly offering to the bloodthirsty goddess Parashakti - She Who Is Seated on a Throne of Five Corpses; he experiences caste massacres in the badlands of Bihar and dines with a drug baron on the North-West Frontier; he discovers such oddities as the terrorist apes of Jaipur and the shrine where Lord Krishna is said to make love every night to his 16,108 wives and 64,732 milkmaids. `The Age of Kali' is the fourth fascinating volume from the author of `In Xanadu', `City of Djinns' and `From the Holy Mountain'.

From the Holy Mountain A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium

From the Holy Mountain A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/04/1998

A rich blend of history and spirituality, adventure and politics, laced with the thread of black comedy familiar to readers of William Dalrymple's previous work. In AD 587, two monks, John Moschos and Sophronius the Sophist, embarked on an extraordinary journey across the Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt. Their aim: to collect the wisdom of the sages and mystics of the Byzantine East before their fragile world shattered under the eruption of Islam. Almost 1500 years later, using the writings of John Moschos as his guide, William Dalrymple set off to retrace their footsteps. Taking in a civil war in Turkey, the ruins of Beirut, the tensions of the West Bank and a fundamentalist uprising in Egypt, William Dalrymple's account is a stirring elegy to the dying civilisation of Eastern Christianity.

City of Djinns

City of Djinns

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/04/1994

`Could you show me a djinn?' I asked. `Certainly,' replied the Sufi. `But you would run away.' From the author of the Samuel Johnson prize shortlisted `The Return of a King', this is William Dalrymple's captivating memoir of a year spent in Delhi, a city watched over and protected by the mischievous invisible djinns. Lodging with the beady-eyed Mrs Puri and encountering an extraordinary array of characters - from elusive eunuchs to the last remnants of the Raj - William Dalrymple comes to know the bewildering city intimately. He pursues Delhi's interlacing layers of history along narrow alleys and broad boulevards, brilliantly conveying its intoxicating mix of mysticism and mayhem. `City of Djinns' is an astonishing and sensitive portrait of a city, and confirms William Dalrymple as one of the most compelling explorers of India's past and present.

In Xanadu A Quest

In Xanadu A Quest

Author: William Dalrymple Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/09/1990

One of the most successful, influential and acclaimed travel books of recent years from the author of `Return of a King', which has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize. At the age of twenty-two, William Dalrymple left his college in Cambridge to travel to the ruins of Kublai Khan's stately pleasure dome in Xanadu. This is an account of a quest which took him and his companions across the width of Asia, along dusty, forgotten roads, through villages and cities full of unexpected hospitality and wildly improbable escapades, to Coleridge's Xanadu itself. At once funny and knowledgeable, In Xanadu is in the finest tradition of British travel writing. Told with an exhilarating blend of eloquence, wit, poetry and delight, it is already established as a classic of its kind.

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http://www.williamdalrymple.uk.com

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