Book ReviewVolume 13 Issue # 19

Shah-Jahan: The Rise and Fall of the Mughal Emperor

Shah-Jahan,’King of the World,’ruled the Mughal Em-pire from 1628 to 1658, a pe-riod of multiculturalism, poetry, fine art and stupen-dous architecture.

His legacy in stone embraces not only the Taj Mahal, the tomb of his beloved second wife, Arjumand Mumtaz-Mahal, but fortresses, mosques, gardens, cara-vanserais and schools.

Shah-Jahan was also a ruth-less political operator who achieved power by ordering the murder of two brothers and at least six other relatives, an enlightened despot, a king who dispensed largesse to favoured courtiers but ignored plague in the countryside.

Fergus Nicoll has reconstructed this intriguing tale from contemporary biographies, edicts and correspondence, putting together an original portrait that challenges many established legends to bring the man and the emperor to life.