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The birth of a prince in medieval India was usually followed by grand celebrations. Camped out in the wilderness when the news of Akbar’s safe delivery reached him; Humayun could only enjoy a quiet moment of thanksgiving. He broke a musk pod and as the fragrance wafted all over the camp; the new father hoped his son’s fame would similarly spread across the world. Akbar-emperor; warrior; statesman and thinker-is acknowledged as one of the most charismatic personalities in Indian history. Crowned the king of Hindustan at the age of thirteen; his empire went on to include the farthest corners of the country. Yet he was not just a conqueror. A humanist; his deep interest in literature; architecture; art and his inclusive vision of religions at a time when such thoughts were not in fashion; set him down as one of history’s most remarkable men. In this story of his life; as exciting and thrilling as any adventure tale; the author describes Akbar’s rough; difficult childhood spent on the run; his consolidation of the empire through war and diplomacy; the myriad interesting and entertaining people who made up his court; the strong women of the Mughal household; and finally; the intriguing circumstances under which the crown passed on to his son; Jahangir. Accompanied by many vignettes of information about the Mughal empire and the world in the 16th century; this book is a fascinating introduction to the life and times of a ruler who still rules our imaginations.
- Penguin Books Ltd, April 2010
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