Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

by Ruby Lal
Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

by Ruby Lal


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Finalist for the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History

"A luminous biography." —Rafia Zakaria, Guardian

Four centuries ago, a Muslim woman ruled an empire. Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and most cherished wife of the Emperor Jahangir. Nur ruled the vast Mughal Empire alongside her husband, leading troops into battle, signing imperial orders, and astutely handling matters of the state.

Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal uncovers the rich life and world of Nur Jahan, rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal and Orientalist clichés of romance and intrigue, and giving new insight into the lives of women and girls in the Mughal Empire. In Empress, Nur Jahan finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens us to a fascinating history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393357677
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/28/2020
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 537,464
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Ruby Lal is an acclaimed historian of India and a professor of South Asian History at Emory University. She is the author of Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan, Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World, and Coming of Age in Nineteenth Century India: The Girl-Child and the Art of Playfulness. She divides her time between Atlanta and Delhi.

Table of Contents

Dramatis Personae xi

1 Queen of Queens, an Introduction 1

2 Miracle Girl 11

3 Al-Hind 29

4 The Cupolas of Chastity and the Perfect Man 38

5 The Wak-Wak Tree 46

6 The Mirror of Happiness 60

7 Grave Matters 76

8 A Key for Closed Doors 94

9 Ascent 104

10 Wonder of the Age 131

11 Veils of Light 150

12 The Light-Scattering Garden 166

13 Fitna, 177

14 The Rescue 192

15 Angel of Death 208

16 Beyond 1627, an Epilogue 222

Acknowledgments 227

Note on Transliteration and Terminology 233

Key Biographical Details 235

Notes on Sources 247

Notes 251

Illustration Credits 291

Index 295

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