Shah Jahan : The Rise and Fall of the Mughal Emperor
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Khurram Shah-Jahan, a title meaning 'King of the World', ruled the Mughal Empire from 1628 to 1639. His reign marked the cultural zenith of the Mughal dynasty: a period of multiculturalism, poetry, fine art and stupendous architecture. His legacy in stone embraces not only the Taj Mahal--the tomb of his beloved second wife, Arjumand Mumtaz-Mahal--but fortresses, mosques, gardens, caravanserais and schools. But Shah-Jahan was also a ruthless political operator, who only achieved power by ordering the murder of two brothers and at least six other relatives, one of them the legitimately crowned Emperor Dawar-Bakhsh. This is the story of an enlightened despot, a king who dispensed largesse to favour courtiers but ignored plague in the countryside. Fergus Nicoll has reconstructed this intriguing tale from contemporary biographies, edicts and correspondence. He has also travelled widely through India and Pakistan to follow in Shah-Jahan's footsteps and put together an original portrait that challenges many established legends to bring the man and the emperor to life.
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