Little known, little remembered, this is the story of Begum Hazrat Mahal.
The soul of the 1857 War of Independence; orphaned poetess of the Chowk; captivating wife of King Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh; the Rani of Jhansi’s contemporary and soul sister; freedom fighter and misunderstood mother; illicit lover and intrepid war leader – she risked everything only to face the greatest betrayal of all…
This is a salute to Hazrat Mahal – a dazzling meteor in Indian history.
“Mourad provides us with memorable glimpses of character and atmosphere, some delicious irony, and a gripping read.” – Tabish Khair, author of The Thing About Thugs and How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position
“A well researched and highly engaging account of the life of one of the most important characters of the 1857 Uprising about whom very little is known. Mourad writes with sympathy and insight, and presents a good story.” – Mahmood Farooqui, historian and author of Besieged: Voices from Delhi, 1857
“Kenizé Mourad’s novel is a mesmerising snapshot of a bygone era in which culture, refinement, decadence, tradition and wisdom could coexist with deceit, politics, intrigue, greed and brutality.” – Ashwin Sanghi, author of Chanakya’s Chant & The Krishna Key
“Kenizé Mourad not only recounts the begum’s complex story, she does it with confident, self-assured simplicity. Certain historical processes can be narrated and understood only through historical fiction. And Mourad knows her art.” – Amaresh Misra, historian and author of Lucknow: Fire of Grace: The Story of its Renaissance, Revolution and the Aftermath
“In the City of Gold and Silver is an ambitious novel that opens a unique window into a fraught and formative period in the history of the subcontinent. Kenizé Mourad writes with great feeling.” – H. M. Naqvi, author of Home Boy, winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, 2011
“Kenizé’s deep insights into Awadh’s nobility take the reader to the mid-19th century. Decadence, intrigue, British guile and the counter attacks by Begum Hazrat Mahal, the bourgeoisie and the people are evoked to make a gripping saga, somewhat forgotten by Indians today.” – Francis Wacziarg, founder of The Neemrana Music Foundation