01 August, 2021

Play Up, And Play The Game

Military leader, royal, prolific lover, viceregal couple and lifelong influencer—Dickie and Edwina wore many garbs with cool assurance. This book inspects them all.

Play Up, And Play The Game

The Mountbattens, Edwina and Dickie, rank high among the world’s power couples. She was the beautiful heiress to one of England’s lar­gest fortunes; he was the dashingly handsome cousin of the Queen and uncle to her consort, Prince Philip. They were both charming, witty and intelligent, and they knew how to use their charms to mutual advantage.

Most Indians will remember them as the surprisingly popular viceregal couple who presided over Independence and Partition. Historians still disagree about their responsibility for those eve­nts.  This biography focuses on their personal lives. Andrew Low­nie brings his readable style and irreverent eye to areas shrouded in darkness—intelligence files about the Mountbattens and their private papers remain closed.

Among these are Edwina’s correspondence with Jawaharlal Nehru. Even so, Nehru is widely regarded as the last, and probably most important, of the 80 or so lovers whom Edwina is reported by her daughter to have bedded. Her official biographers have called the affair platonic;...

More from Zareer Masani

Latest Magazine

August 09, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section