18 January, 2021

Lioness In Trafalgar Square

Reared as English nobility, Sophia Duleep Singh was fiery suffragette, social worker and Indian nationalist

Lioness In Trafalgar Square
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Anita Anand recounts the inc­re­dible, undocumented yet captivating story of Sophia Alexandrovina Duleep Singh—­granddaughter of Ranjit Singh, the Lion of Punjab, and the daughter of his tragic, hapless, handsome, dispossessed son, Duleep Singh. Sophia was  born of his union with Bamba, the illegitimate daughter of a rich German merchant in Egypt and his Abyssinian slave paramour/mistress Sofia. The extraordinary tale of Princess Sophia, goddaughter to Empress Victoria, one time fashionable fixture on the London/Brighton social circuit who went on to evolve into a leading suffragette, diehard flagbearer of women’s rights, enthusiastic supporter of Gopal­krishna Gokhale and Lala Lajpat Rai and the fledgling Indian independence movement, saviour/benefactor of the thousands of lascars who were abandoned to roam destitute, hungry, desparately ill, around London docks by callous British Empire officials, makes for fascinating reading.

In recounting the story of Sophia, remarkable prisoner of circumstance and history, Anand gives us a searing...

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