someday ill be in company of all....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wicked woman of the Raj by Coralie Younger

I love anything frozen in time which reveals the intricacies of the time gone by in all its splendor..Indian history is my favourite..Though british period is not my cup of tea yet there are loads of events that gets me intreseted to..This book is about one such phase..
It's run down of twenty women from west tagged as wicked, who were held enchanted with the Indian prince (some for their rich and some for the like of the social standings),Not all stories belong to Raj period of India many are from post Independence..Introduction itself would leave you startling with lot of theories . It's believed that white woman were sent to India seeking a suitable match failing which they are tagged useless and most don't go home for the fear of social rejections..Some of these ladies take up prostitution,luring the Rajah and sultans for their rich and charm, in return they are provided with abundant wealth , jewels that are even worth millions, in short life of grandeur..But some were women were indeed hopeless romantics driven by magic of love to their sultans or Rajah who broke the rules laid  by the society to get their fairy tale life with the man they loved, imbibing in them Indian culture and tradition some even following the purdah to an extend, lending a hand of advice with the administration and social devoir..
But Money and wealth always played a major role .. Indian prince who were sent abroad for education or for vacations become great admirers of western culture, art, culture and lifestyle eventually finding a companion in European lady who would not just sharing his name and title but becoming a retinue intellectually..Most of the marriages failed pathetically but some were indeed successful like Morag Murray who married Syed Abdullah Khan of Koh fort, Joan Falkiner who married Taley Khan of Palanpur and Nancy Miller who married Tukoji of Indore.Not all women were vice, while Stella Mudge who married Paramjith Singh, the Maharah of Kapurthala looted her state treasurey of its exquisite jweles, Marguerite Lawler nurse-stewardess who married Yeshwant Rao Holkare the Maharah of Indore,was pushed for a divorce luring for custody of his daughter but it was for him to marry   Euphemia Crane..
Ladies who married  Indian rajah or sultans were not just against their people but also had to fight their husband's other wives and society who looked at them skeptically..They were not recognized by the British empire often refusing to bestow  the title of her Highness like that of their husbands...Finally they fall apart losing the battle drunk and immersed in luxurious parties dying with nothing much around them...
All chapters has details of the riches drawn well, the marriage, exquisite gifts, elaborate honey moon and the to the days that ends all..All along, the details of jewels laden with precious stone forms the major part of every story..
Writing is simple and engaging... Good research has shaped up the book, but the way you cling onto the writing of Woods, William Dalrymple, John Key are missing..The book is a good historic gossip that will delight you but will not leave any prints in you..

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