Koh-I-Noor: The History of the World's Most Famous Diamond

Author(s): William Dalrymple


The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world. On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the centre of the great Fort in Lahore. There, in a public ceremony, the frightened but dignified child handed over to the British East India Company in a formal Act of Submission to Queen Victoria not only swathes of the richest land in India, but also arguably the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i Noor diamond. The Mountain of Light. The history of the Koh-i-Noor that was then commissioned by the British may have been one woven together from gossip of Delhi Bazaars, but it was to be become the accepted version. Only now is it finally challenged, freeing the diamond from the fog of mythology which has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism and appropriation through an impressive slice of south and central Asian history. It ends with the jewel in its current controversial setting: in the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Masterly, powerful and erudite, this is history at its most compelling and invigorating.


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The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world, from the internationally acclaimed and bestselling historians William Dalrymple and Anita Anand

A master story-teller, whose special gift lies in the use of indigenous sources, so often neglected by imperial chroniclers - praise for Dalrymple's Return of a King -- Max Hastings Sunday Times Anita Anand's gripping book is a sad story of dispossession and dislocation ... The story is fast-paced and thrilling ... A noble book **** - praise for Anand's Sophia: Princess, Suffragette and Revolutionary Daily Telegraph Magnificent ... shames the simplistic efforts of previous writers - praise for Dalrymple's The Last Mughal Spectator Vivid and compelling ... Anand writes with the vigour and imaginative reach of a novelist - praise for Anand's Sophia: Princess, Suffragette and Revolutionary New Statesman

Anita Anand has been a radio and television journalist for over twenty years. She is the presenter of Any Answers on BBC Radio 4 and on BBC television she has presented, among other shows, Newsnight. Her first book Sophia: Princess, Suffragette and Revolutionary was received to widespread acclaim. She lives in West London. William Dalrymple wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu when he was just twenty-two. Since then, he has had seven more books published and won numerous awards for his writing, including the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Duff Cooper Memorial Award, the Hemingway Prize and The Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.

General Fields

  • : 9781408888841
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : February 2017
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : William Dalrymple
  • : Hardback
  • : 1707
  • : English
  • : 736.23
  • : very good
  • : 160
  • : B&W line illustration chapter openings plus one 8pp colour insert