Three Memoirs of Humayun, Volumes 1-2

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Wheeler McIntosh Thackston, Wheeler M. Thackston
Mazda Publishers, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 846 pages
"Three memoirs of the Mughal emperor Humayun form number eleven in the Intellectual Traditions Series, a series aimed at providing scholars and students of Iranian Islamic heritage with new source materials. With this publication we extend the geographical horizons of the series to include Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, in both of which Persian has been or was the language of learning and culture for a millennium. In the sixteenth century ""Tajik"" Persian was the lingua franca of all Central Asia, as it is still the common language of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and cities in Uzbekistan like Bukhara and Samarkand. In the northern subcontinent, from the time of the first lasting Muslim incursions in the tenth century until the mid-nineteen century, when the British replaced Persian with English, the common language was Persian. Introduced by the Ghaznavids and cultivated by all their successors, particularly the Mughals by virtue of their Timurid cultural heritage, Indo-Persian literature represents a large portion of the totality of the wealth of Persian literary output. Of the three texts included in this publication, Bayazid Bayat's account is of special value because it was dictated by an illiterate and must therefore be a fair representation of Persian as it was spoken in the sixteenth century. In this regard it may be unique among medieval texts. It will also be of interest to historians to contrast the three original memoirs by Princess Gulbadan, Jawhar Aftabachi, and Bayazid Bayat with the convoluted accounts of Abu'l-Fazl's Akbarnama, the ""official"" history of Humayun's and Akbar's reigns that was based largely upon such memoirs."

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