Welcome to ! I never had one lick of the history of India in school, other than maybe a brief pass by the East India Trading Company, which is of course a tragedy, but reading books like this desperately makes me wish I had. Indian history is fascinating. If you are like me and know very little Indian history, which is to my shame, Jahanara is the daughter of Mumtaz Mahal, the favourite wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal for Mumtaz. They observer purdah, which means that they do not go out in public and are not seen by men outside of the circle, and Jahanara, at fourteen, feels trapped.
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Welcome to ! I never had one lick of the history of India in school, other than maybe a brief pass by the East India Trading Company, which is of course a tragedy, but reading books like this desperately makes me wish I had.
Indian history is fascinating. If you are like me and know very little Indian history, which is to my shame, Jahanara is the daughter of Mumtaz Mahal, the favourite wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal for Mumtaz.
They observer purdah, which means that they do not go out in public and are not seen by men outside of the circle, and Jahanara, at fourteen, feels trapped. Like any royal family, especially one with a multitude of wives, they have their fair share of drama and struggle. Jahanara worries about her brothers and stresses about her grandmother, to the point that her tutor Satty begins to castigate her for not doing well.
Jahanara tells Panipat, the chief eunuch, about her worries, and he tells her to be still in her mind until the plan is revealed. And that is where her father receives Nur Mahal, and declares that their future trade with the East India Company is far more important than her.
One of the things that this book focuses on is the material culture surrounding the imperial court—their palaces and their clothing and the food oh dear, so much food and the gemstones. The ankles, though, are trimmed with yellow diamonds and emeralds that have been sewn on to look like daffodils…I shall wear my emerald ankle bracelets and two toe rings, both diamonds that Ami gave me.
The coronation is particularly beautiful, and one of the things Shah Jahan can demand is the return of his other sons—although Nur Mahal negotiates that she will stay as well, though in special apartments.
Jahanara and her other siblings are very excited about the return of her brothers, and discuss it endlessly, even though her mother warns her that they will probably be changed from what she remembers of them. When she does meet them, Dara is overjoyed at being reunited, but Aurangzeb is much changed and seems like an old man rather than a child.
And when the ladies of the court go on a picnic and Indira tells them Krishna stories, Aurangzeb is extremely rude and has to be taken away by a nursemaid. During Ramadan that year, Jahanara is bored and hungry all the time and eventually Dara and her strike on the idea of smuggling food during the day so no one will see. During the fall and into the winter, Jahanara is bored with the monotony of the court.
Anyway, Jahanara has the best time at the Flirting Bazaar, and manages to flirt with an Englishman from the East India Company, who speaks flawless Persian and has bright yellow hair, which she finds incredibly strange and fascinating. Her father wins the battle against the rebel forces, and a few months later Jahanara learns that her mother is pregnant again for the fourteenth time. But in June, her mother goes into labour and suffers for days before bleeding to death.
I can never, ever fault Scholastic for introducing more novels about non-white royals, and this has some really beautiful writing in it to boot. Like Like. It really is! Well worth a read! And yes, sapphires are awesome. They deserve to be more popular! Still super hot to me at You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.
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Print Book Saved in: Availability Loading Series The royal diaries. Beginning in , Princess Jahanara, first daughter of Shah Jahan of India's Mogul Dynasty, writes in her diary about political intrigues, weddings, battles, and other experiences of her life. Includes historical notes on Jahanara's later life and on the Mogul Empire. Full description. Add Tag No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Jahanara: Princess of Princesses
Much like the author, I didn't know much about Indian culture before reading this book, so this really opened my eyes to it. I didn't know stuff like this was still happening there in the and I loved the detail of this book and how I could be there with the royal family. Kathryn Lasky was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 24, , and knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she was ten. She majored in English in college and after graduation wrote for various magazines and taught. She has written more than seventy books for children and young adults on everything from historical fiction to picture books and nonfiction books including the Dear America books and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. Many of her books are illustrated with photographs by her husband, Christopher Knight.
After Mumtaz Mahal's untimely death in , the year-old Jahanara took her mother's place as First Lady Padshah Begum of the Mughal Empire , despite the fact that her father had three other wives. She was Shah Jahan's favourite daughter and wielded major political influence during her father's reign, having been described as "the most powerful woman in the empire" at the time. Jahanara was an ardent partisan of her brother Dara Shikoh and supported him as her father's chosen successor. During the war of succession which took place after Shah Jahan's illness in , Jahanara sided with the heir-apparent Dara and ultimately joined her father in Agra Fort , where he had been placed under house arrest by Aurangzeb. A devoted daughter, she took care of Shah Jahan until his death in Sati al-Nisa Khanam was known for her knowledge of the Qur'an and Persian literature as well as for her knowledge of etiquette, housekeeping, and medicine.