The late Professor M. Athar Ali was one of the foremost authorities on Mughal history. This book is a selection of some of his best essays on a wide range of themes from the realm of ideas (including religion) to polity, administration, society and culture of the Mughal period (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries). Some essays are interpretative, others represent detailed research, and rest share both elements. What unites them is his critical approach and consistence proximity to the Persian source material. The book includes a critique of 'revisionist' approaches in the study of the Mughal polity, and a section on sources.