East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Discovering Mughal India


611bobcm9hL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_So much to do and so little time to do it.
I remember an old article by Isaac Asimov, old Ike saying that if you want to be a writer you have to love writing above everything else – given the choice between reading and writing, for instance, writing should take first place, without any hesitation.

Well, but what when you are doing research?
Is time spent reading time that should be better spent writing?
I don’t think so.
And therefore I’m taking the afternoon off to go on with The Mughals of India, by Harbans Mukhia.

Published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2004, the book is a concise introduction to the long Mughal rule in the Indian subcontinent – and it covers political and religious matters, but also the structure of the court and the family. There’s also a part on folklore.
Not bad, for a book a little over 200 pages that goes for 99 cents.

And indeed, apart from the excellent reviews and the cheap price of the ebook edition, what attracted me to this volume was its brevity.
I am reading this not just out of my interest in history and the East, but because it will provide an important set of references for my GreyWorld project.
The Mughal empire is a subject which was almost completely unknown to me, if we except the few bits and pieces picked up reading fiction and browsing old issues of National Geographic.


Thankfully, professor Mukhia’s book is a fast, intriguing read, filled with data and observations – and it is therefore exactly what I needed as an entry point in the complicated, often confused (to me) history of the Mughal dinasties.
Once this is over, it will be easier – I hope – negotiating a few other titles I’ve here on my Kindle1.

Also, the book is part of a series, with books devoted to the peoples of Tibet, Afghanistan, Persia etc.
And I think I’ll check those out too – if the quality is this high, they’ll make for a great read this summer, and will provide no end of fuel for future stories.

  1. ebooks are a boon to anyone doing research… fast delivery, cheap price, and it’s pretty easy to take notes or underscore passages in a non-damaging way. Perfect. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

5 thoughts on “Discovering Mughal India

  1. I am from India and I agree that the history of Mughal rule is absolutely fascinating and colorful. You might also find William Dalrymple’s books, particularly The Last Mughal, interesting.


  2. That was one very fascinating dynasty, and they brought incredible taste in art with them.


  3. to say nothing of their food …. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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