This history of the erstwhile princely state of Udaipur evokes the glory and grandeur of the Rajput courts. Here are tales of honour and chivalry, of magnanimity to enemies, and of a fierce pride that did not bow down before Moghul might or British power. Udaipur is the world’s oldest ruling dynasty, whose antiquity surpasses any European royal line—it spans 76 generations and some 1500 years. There are Maharajas aplenty in Rajasthan, but only one Maharana: Udaipur.
Many interesting episodes enliven this historical account—how Prince Khurram sought refuge in Udaipur, from where he was proclaimed Emperor Shah Jahan; how King George V had to visit the Delhi railway station to meet Maharana Fateh Singh; how a nautch girl nearly achieved the feat of walking a tightrope across the lake from the City Palace. The book ends with a description of the palace, a splendid example of Rajput architecture which “combined building with poetry”.
About the Author
Brian Masters studied French and Romance Philology at University College, Cardiff, and the University of Montpellier in France. His first book was a study of Molière and then he went on write about British aristocracy. He also wrote several biographies, of which Killing for Company, on the mass-murderer Dennis Nilsen, won the Gold Dagger award for non-fiction in 1985. His most recent books include two volumes of autobiography, Getting Personal and Second Thoughts, and The Actors—volume one of the history of the Garrick Club, of which he is a trustee.