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Empress

The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Hardcover

Ruby Lal (Author)

Our Retail Price:£19.99

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Description

Four centuries ago, a Muslim woman ruled an empire. Her legend still lives, but her story was lost—until now.

In 1611, thirty-four-year-old Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and favourite wife of the Emperor Jahangir who ruled the Mughal Empire. An astute politician as well as a devoted partner, she issued imperial orders; coins of the realm bore her name. When Jahangir was imprisoned by a rebellious nobleman, the Empress led troops into battle and rescued him.

The only woman to acquire the stature of empress in her male-dominated world, Nur was also a talented dress designer and innovative architect whose work inspired her stepson’s Taj Mahal. Nur’s confident assertion of talent and power is revelatory; it far exceeded the authority of her female contemporaries, including Elizabeth I. Here, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography.

Reviews

“This is an outstanding book, not only incredibly important but also a fabulous piece of writing. Here, India’s greatest empress is reborn in all her fascinating glory in a luminescent account of her life and times. Ruby Lal has written a classic—one of the best biographies to come out this year and certainly the best ever of Nur Jahan.” — Amanda Foreman, author of The World Made by Women

“Lal’s intriguing biography, with its chronology of her relatively swift rise to power and even swifter descent, restores Nur Jahan to her full splendour.” — 10 Books to read in July, BBC Culture