The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857
The last Mughal emperor, Zafar, came to the throne when the political power of the Mughals was already in steep decline. Nonetheless, Zafar - a mystic, poet, and calligrapher of great accomplishment - created a court of unparalleled brilliance, and gave rise to perhaps the greatest literary renaissance in Indian history. All the while, the British were progressively taking over the Emperor's power. When, in May 1857, Zafar was declared the leader of an uprising against the British, he was powerless to resist though he strongly suspected that the action was doomed. Four months later, the British took Delhi, the capital, with catastrophic results. With an understanding of British and Indian history, Dalrymple crafts an account of a blood history.