Cultural collapse: Delhi 1857

Today, I am reposting this response to William Dalrymple's magnificent The Last Mughal: the Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857. I wonder if, over the next 5 to 10 years, we will be conducting sad online mushairas (poetic symposiums) and singing laments for the collapse of the Washington court? Cultural collapse: Delhi 1857 (February 4, … Continue reading Cultural collapse: Delhi 1857

Cultural collapse: Delhi 1857

"This whole city has become a desert." Ghalib 1861 William Dalrymple's The Last Mughal: the Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857 is a great tragedy, and its fallen hero is the culture of the Mughal court. Under Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II (1775-1862), the Mughal court and Delhi society experienced a cultural renaissance of sorts. … Continue reading Cultural collapse: Delhi 1857

Return of a King

Image credit: Elizabeth Butler, Remnants of an Army  (1879) Tate Gallery I have finished reading William Dalrymple's mesmerising and tragical history of the first Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42), Return of a King: the battle for Afghanistan. It tells the story of the British invasion of Afghanistan, or, as it was known by its local rulers then, … Continue reading Return of a King