This is the story of one of the most powerful and influential women in Indian
history, Nur Jahan. Born on a caravan traveling form Teheran to India, she went on
to rule the Mughal empire- in fact if not in name-when she became the eighteenth
and last wife of Emperor Jahangir.
Growing up among noble families of diverse religious and cultural
backgrounds, given in marriage to a Turkish soldier of fortune, later widowed with
a small daughter, Nur Jahan was noticed four years later by the emperor at a
bazaar. She and opium, she immediately ascended into the vacuum of power.
Nur Jahan had a decisive influence on religious policy, artistic and
architectural development, foreign trade, gardening, and the opening up of
Kashmir. Barred from long-term power at Jahangir's death by her brother and
stepson, Nur Jahan spent the last two decades of her life in exile in Lahore.
An intriguing, elegantly written account of Nur Jahan's life and times,
this book not only revises the legends that portray her as a power-hungry and
malicious woman, but also investigates the paths to power available to women in
Islam and Hinduism.
About the Author:
Ellison Banks Findly is Associate Professor of Religion and Asian
Studies at Trinity College. She has degrees from Wellesley, Columbia, and Yale,
has aught at Mt. Holyoke College, and has served as a visiting curator at the
Worcester Art Museum.
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