02 August, 2021

Hyderabad Junction

A gripping history book with enough footnotes to whet your foot fetishes

Hyderabad Junction
The Deccan plateau’s monumental grandeur is the proper setting for Dalrymple’s cliff-hanging historical thriller, a book profoundly faithful to the poignancy of love briefly consummated amidst conflicting cultures. The pulsating true chronicle of a British resident’s tempestuous romance with a Muslim aristocrat’s teenage daughter in Hyderabad 200 years ago is the result of diligent amateur research, presented with Dalrymple’s trademark wit and penned in a stylishly expository manner. He has the advantage of sharing the tragic hero Kirkpatrick’s Scot background and uses family archives to chart the resident’s perilous course. Superbly structured, each chapter ends on a note of suspense. And instead of the seemingly inevitable doomed ending, there is an unlikely reprieve when the exiled daughter of Kirkpatrick and Khair un-Nissa is able to contact her Shushtari cousins in Hyderabad.

A surprising late entrant to the story is another Lowland Scot—the usually crusty Thomas Carlyle. Thanks to the palpable beauty of Khair’s daughter, even ‘Oor Tam’ waxes...

In this article:

More from Bill Aitken

Latest Magazine

August 09, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section