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The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world, from the internationally acclaimed and bestselling historians William Dalrymple and Anita Anand

About the Author

William Dalrymple wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu when he was just twenty-two. Since then, he has had seven more books published and won numerous awards for his writing, including the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Duff Cooper Memorial Award, the Hemingway Prize and the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi. Anita Anand has been a radio and television journalist for over twenty years. On BBC television she has presented, among other shows, Daily Politics, The Heaven and Earth Show and Newsnight. She is currently the presenter of Any Answers on BBC Radio 4. Her first book, Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, received to widespread acclaim. She lives in West London.


Extraordinary. William Dalrymple and Anita Anand have found previously ignored and untranslated Persian and Afghan sources to give us fresh information
*The Times*

Riveting. Dalrymple and Anand present as evocative a rendering as the most enthralling bazaar storyteller while providing an astute and empathetic study of the historical landscape through which the diamond has made its troubled way … This highly readable and entertaining book ... finally sets the record straight on the history of the Koh-i-Noor
*Sunday Times*

Dalrymple and Anand’s tale is a writer’s gift
*Daily Telegraph*

The history of the many who have coveted the diamond is long and involved, full of wonder and awe, treachery and bloodshed

Dalrymple tracks its tortuous journey across the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan to its arrival in the Punjabi treasury; Anand tells the subsequent story of British ownership. Their two narratives are neatly spliced and stylistically harmonious *****
*Mail on Sunday*

[Dalrymple and Anand] have a real story to tell … for anyone with a taste for that classic blend of blood and bling, for “oceans of pearls and gold” and hecatombs of severed heads, for monstrous heaps of eyeballs – 20,000 of them – and precious stones “in quantities that beggar all description” this is an oriental Games of Thrones – Dalrymple’s own reference – in spades

Meticulously researched and brilliantly written ... In fewer than 300 quick-reading pages, Dalrymple and Anand bust myth after myth
*BBC History Magazine*

Dalrymple tells this complicated story with verve and admirable brevity, drawing on a wide range of literature and memoirs. He paints a picture in which elegance and refinement are married to treachery and hideous brutality … This is a book which anyone interested in 19th century India and Indio-British relations will want to read

Gruesome and ceaselessly dramatic
*Daily Telegraph*

For all that the Koh-i-Noor may be a doubtful best friend, there is no doubting the fascination of its story, told so engagingly here
*Country Life*

Koh-i-Noor offers memorable tales of Indian courtly intrigue and violence, and explores the shifting fortunes of South Asian dynasties, the consolidation of British power in the subcontinent, and the British monarchy during and after Queen Victoria’s reign
*Times Literary Supplement*

Dalrymple and Anand bring every stage of the Koh-i-Noor’s turbulent past to life. It is an utterly fascinating story, revealing the nature of power through the history of one of its most potent symbols
*Literary Review*

In this vivid history of one of the world’s most celebrated gemstones, the Indian diamond known as the Koh-i-Noor, Anita Anand and William Dalrymple put an inventive twist on the old maxim. “Follow the diamond,” they realise, and it can lead into a dynamic, original and supremely readable history of empires

The fascinating story of this enormous jewel, currently kept in the Tower of London, is told in a compelling new book by Radio 4’s Anita Anand (Any Answers) and historian William Dalrymple … The book comes out on June 15 and I can’t wait to get my hands on it
*Daily Express*

William Dalrymple is to non-fiction what JK Rowling is to fiction ... This joint project with Anita Anand is bound to fly off the shelves as quickly as readers can devour it

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