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Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant Hardcover – 12 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (12 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752453645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752453644
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 851,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'totally absorbing' The Telegraph 'An extraordinary story of affection, friendship and loyalty' Hello Magazine 'masterfully told' OR 'a melange of history, drama and fantasy' The Dawn --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Shrabani Basu is an author, journalist and historian. She has also written Curry: the Story of the Nation's Favourite Dish (2003) and Spy Princess: the Life of Noor Inayat Khan (2006). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Hussain on 6 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be a fascinating insight into the household of Queen Victoria. It's quite incredible that a hundred years ago, a British Queen befriended an indian muslim, not only that, but she learnt to read, write and yes speak Urdu. It really changed my opinion of the queen and showed that she was in fact a very compassionate woman who did not hold any bigotry towards indians or indeed muslims. For this insight alone, i think the book is worth it, it's scarcely plausible now to imagine a British muslim as an aide to the prime minister/queen, this book captures what it was to be in her household. The unspoken parallels of his association with a british muslim intellectual of the time (Rafiuddin) and the british establishment's belief that he might be a malcontent when in fact he stated Britain might be a positive force in India are quite amusing when compared with this day and age. Now too, muslims are apt to be tarred and feathered merely for meeting other muslims, who might not even be radical, just perceived to be so. It seems some things just don't change.

I would have liked the book to be a bit longer and discuss more of what happened to Abdul Karim after Queen Victoria passed away, there are suggestions that Abdul Karim grew pompous in his old age, i would like to have seen that expanded, but like another review stated, it let's people draw their own conclusions. After all, class and status are so utterly artificial, when we die, people remember us for our actions, not the wealth we accumulated. I now remember Abdul Karim as the man who taught Queen Victoria Urdu, and care little for the man who sought to leave a cushy life in Agra in his retirement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Purr on 11 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this book, but it was full of historical mistakes. Although I cannot comment on any of the "Indian" elements, I am sure anybody would know that Princess May (Queen Mary) was NOT the Duchess of Teck!!! There were also many more mistakes about Queen Victoria, her family and household.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lovetoread on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this - fascinating insight into a seemingly forgotten episode. I wonder if such a situation could happen today!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. DEY on 6 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queens' Closest Confidant
The book presents an unbiased record of a relationship between an empress and her loyal servant. The book allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusion which is refeshing.
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