6 comments on “Freedom-Fighting Courtesans and Warrior Queens of 1857

  1. This made for very interesting reading, Richard! Thank you for that. I am in two minds about attempting Mourad’s book – 400 pages sounds daunting. On the other hand, given my love for history, I might just attempt it…

  2. Are you quite sure that Jhansi Ki Rani (1953) was made by Mehboob Khan and that actress Mehtab was his wife?

    With warm regards


  3. Partha Chanda: Oops, thanks for the correction (which I have applied). I did write “Sohrab Modi” in my review from 2014, which I linked to. There was no need to correct the latter part of the sentence though – Mehtab was the director’s wife. :)

    By the way, I think I had gotten a little distracted by this new WordPress editing program. (Why does everybody have to make “improvements”?) This was a P.S. that I added to a long post in which I had been experiencing a few technical difficulties. I am pretty sure that the body of the post is perfect. :)

  4. Madhu, thank you for the good words (once again!). I think you would probably appreciate this book, so I recommend that you give it a try!

  5. Richard, how very interesting. I would have guessed the courtesans would have been involved in the intrigue surrounding the planning during the 1857 war, but never thought they would have been more directly involved. I will see if I can get my hands on the books you mentioned. History appeals to me, and so does historical fiction, if it is well written.

  6. Thank you, Anu. Yes, I think it would be a surprise to many people that courtesans had this direct kind of involvement, either commanding a rebellion or fighting on the front lines (or both). I like history and historical fiction a lot, too. I hope you find the Mourad novel, and maybe the Jaishree Misra novel, Rani, too. I’ll look for that one – I’m very curious about it, especially since Suneetha Balakrishnan cites it in her review as something that it is written in a more “engaging” way than In the City of Gold and Silver. Not that Mourad’s novel is badly written, by any means.

    Yes, historical fiction can be very appealing when it’s well written. And badly written fiction of any kind can be painful. :)

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