Rupa & Co
|Number of Pages
This is the story of a young Anglo-Irish-beauty's visit to Delhi for the 1911 Royal darbar, where a new King, George V, is to be proclaimed Emperor to reinforce the loyalty to the Crown of India's ruling princes. For a fortnight of relentless ceremony, unheard of extravagance and imposing military, telegraph and post offices, Lilah Wingfield meets many of the most remarkable colonial characters of the day, including some of the most foremost Indian Prices, vying to stage the most lavish display to prove their devotion to the Raj.
As the rents are dismantled, Lilah travels through India- to the dangerous Khyber Pass on the Afghan Border, to Rajasthan , in the gory sites of the Mutiny and to stay with India's only female Ruler, the Begum of Bhopal. Her diary shows her deepening awareness of the ambivalence of certain maharajahs towards British rule even while she is being entertained royally in their lakeside palaces. Her Irish upbringing gives her an instinctive feeling for the mixture of their longing for independence and an affection for the mother country. The book is copiously illustrated by her own photographs.
JESSICA DOUGLAS- HOME is the author of two previous books:
Violet: The Life and Loves of Violet Gordon woodhouse (1996)
'A harpsichordist of genius... as Jessica Douglas-Home makes clear in this enthralling biography, the implications of Violet's magnetic personality went far beyond a dodgy domestic life or a salon that gave Bloomsbury a run for its money.'
BOOKS OF THE YEAR. SUNDAY TIMES, NOVEMBER 1996;
Once Upon Another Time (2000)
'The fascinating account of her six-year odyssey before the collapse of the Soviet Empire--to Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania, helping dissidents... combines the excitement of an espionage novel with the chilling tales of the daily hardships, courage and fortitude of the dissidents.'