The object of the present work is to fill a gap in Indian historical literature. So far back as 1788, Francis Gladwin published a short history of 'The Reign of Jahangir,' but it was practically a summary of the Maasir-i-Jahangiri. Elphinsrone made some use of a few European accounts and of Price's spurious Memoirs of the Emperor Jahangir but he was content mainly to condense the version of the brilliant eighteenth century historian, Khafi Khan. Most of the later writers have relied on Elphinstone.
Here, for the first time, the contemporary Persian chronicles, such as the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, Motamad Khan's Iqbal-nama, Kamghar Husaini's Maasir-i-Jahangiri, the Fath Kangara, the Makhzan Afghani, and others, have been fully sifted and utilized. The numerous contemporary European itineraries and letters, covering thousands of pages, have been critically examined and made to yield whatever results they are capable of. The Rajput sources have likewise been drawn upon. Nor have the later Indian and European records been "neglected. Some new farmans and grants of the Emperor Jahangir were discovered and used for purposes of verification.
It has thus been possible to give a continuous narrative of all the important political and military transactions of Jahangir's reign. From a critical study of the original authorities, the character of the Emperor is seen to be widely different from what it is commonly believed to have been. My conclusion about Jahangir's responsibility for the death of Sher Afkun, the first husband of Nur Jahan Begam may strike the reader as novel, but I may be permitted to state that it is based on the critical examination of all available evidence. There is nothing to prove that Jahangir had ever seen Nur Jahan (or Miherunnisa as she was then called) before her first marriage, while there is every reason to believe that he sought neither the life nor the wife of Sher Afkun. The Emperor's marriage with Sher Atkun's widow came off in the way in which numerous marriages took place. The nature, character, and results of the Nur Jahan ascendancy have been analysed.
The fourth chapter discuses the character and working of Mughal Government, partly in terms of political science, from a new angle of vision. My conclusions may not command universal assent, but I may be permitted to state that they are the result of prolonged study.
I have aimed throughout at a simple style. On a few occasions, as in my description of the building of Fathpur Sikri, I was led, in spite of-myself, to adopt the phraseology of Gibbon, whom I happened to be studying but, I hope, I have been able to avoid all bombast and affectation.
I must gratefully acknowledge the generous loan, or per- mission to get copies, of books or manuscripts in the possession of the authorities of the Khuda Bakhsh Orienral Public Library, Bankipore ; the Imperial Library, Calcutta; St. Xavier's College, Calcutta ; the Jain Siddhanta Bhavan, Arrah ; the India Office, London; the Fort Museum, Delhi; Their Highnesses the Maharajas of Jodhpui, Benares, and Chhatarpur and the Nawab of Rampur. L. Sri Ram, M.A., very generously permitted me to get copies of historical pictures in his possession.
List of Illustrations
A Note on Chronology
Mughal Government, with special reference to the Reign of Jahangir
Prince Khusrau' s Revolt
Qandahar-Jahangir's March to Kabul
- Plot to Assassinate Jahangir
- Patna Qutbreak
Riots and Disturbances
Jahangir's Tour in Gujarat -the Epidemics
Minor Conquests and Annexations
The Break up of The Nur Jahan Junta
The Deccan Again-Sultan Khusrau's Death
Qandhahar-The Outbreak of Shah Jahan's Revolt
Shah Jahan's Rebellion
Shah Jahan's March Through Goloconda and Telingana - His Operations in North India
Shah Jahan's Revolt
Mahabat Khan's coup de main
The Deccan: Shah Jahan' s Movements
Jahangir's Last Days-the Struggle for the Throne
Appendix A. Note to Chapter 1
Appendix B. Note to Chapter 4
Appendix C. Bibliography
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