Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

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Less than a decade after Queen Elizabeth I, a Muslim woman ruled an empire more than twenty- five times the size of Elizabethan England and vastly more diverse, spanning almost all of modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and large chunks of Afghanistan. In 1611, Nur Jahan became the twentieth wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir--and while other royal wives were secluded behind walls, she wielded unprecedented power, strategizing with senior counselors, minting currency, addressing the public, shooting tigers, and designing clothing and architecture (her design influenced the Taj Mahal).

Rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal and Orientalist clichés, acclaimed historian Ruby Lal gives new insight into the lives of women and girls in the Mughal Empire. In Empress, Nur Jahan finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens us to a fascinating history.

Publication Date: 
April 28, 2020