HarperCollins India are delighted to announce the publication of William Dalrymple’s book of photographs, The Historian’s Eye, this June. Over the last few years, noted historian and author, William Dalrymple, has been travelling around India, working on his next book and following the footsteps of its central character, the Mughal emperor Shah Alam. Most of the photographs in The Historian’s Eye, and The Writer’s Eye published before that, were taken during those travels.
This book has a foreword by ace photographer, Raghu Rai, who says that with The Historian’s Eye, William Dalrymple is “treating us now, not only to his wonderful words as a historian but his sensitive eye as a photographer too!”
Talking about the book’s publication, William Dalrymple said, “I am completely thrilled that HarperCollins India are publishing my photographs – the realisation of a long held dream.”
Udayan Mitra, Publisher – Literary, HarperCollins India said, “William Dalrymple’s photographs show us numerous sites where history was made. It’s a fascinating way of encountering history — and the way Dalrymple looks at places through his lens lends a very special perspective to the collection. We’re delighted to be publishing The Historian’s Eye.”
About The Historian’s Eye –
As part of his research for an upcoming book, William Dalrymple had been travelling to all the places where history took place – the battlefields and ruins, the mosques, Sufi shrines and temples, the paradise gardens and pleasure grounds, the barrack blocks and townhouses, the crumbling Mughal havelis and the palaces and forts. In the process, the author has also explored the art and culture of the period, whether it was researching ittar – an essential part of the rituals of eighteenth-century court life – in Lucknow and Kannauj; or going up to Kashmir, the Punjab hills and the lower Himalayan valleys of Chamba, Guler and Kangra, to see where, arguably, the most beautiful of all Indian miniatures were painted.
As a result, the portfolio of pictures that Nathaniel Gaskell and William Dalrymple have put together here is more focused than the last exhibition, The Writer’s Eye. The images in this book don’t range across continents; nor do they present a portrait of India as a whole. Instead it is very specifically a set of images of the places where history and art were being made in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including a small selection of photographs from modern-day Pakistan. It is South Asia, if you like, seen through the historian’s eye.
About the Author – William Dalrymple (b. 1965) is a Scottish historian and writer, as well as an art historian, curator, prominent broadcaster and critic. His first book, In Xanadu, written when he was twenty-two, was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. In 1989, he moved to Delhi where he lived for six years researching his second book, City of Djinns, which won the 1994 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. He then went on to write From the Holy Mountain (1997) – awarded the Scottish Arts Council Autumn Book Award for that year – and The Age of Kali (1998).
Dalrymple is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Asiatic Society, and was awarded the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his ‘outstanding contribution to travel literature’ in 2002. He also wrote and presented the two television series, Stories of the Raj and Indian Journeys, as well as the six-part history series The Long Search for radio.
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