Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire (2020)

Taj Mahal Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire While Galileo suffered under house arrest at the hands of Pope Urban VIII the Thirty Years War ruined Europe and the Pilgrims struggled to survive in the New World work began on what would become o
  • Title: Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire
  • Author: Diana Preston Michael Preston
  • ISBN: 9780802715111
  • Page: 411
  • Format: Hardcover
  • While Galileo suffered under house arrest at the hands of Pope Urban VIII, the Thirty Years War ruined Europe, and the Pilgrims struggled to survive in the New World, work began on what would become one of the Seven Wonders of the World the Taj Mahal Built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, its flawless symmetry and gleamingWhile Galileo suffered under house arrest at the hands of Pope Urban VIII, the Thirty Years War ruined Europe, and the Pilgrims struggled to survive in the New World, work began on what would become one of the Seven Wonders of the World the Taj Mahal Built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, its flawless symmetry and gleaming presence have for centuries dazzled everyone who has seen it, and the story of its creation is a fascinating blend of cultural and architectural heritage Yet, as Diana Michael Preston vividly convey in the first narrative history of the Taj, it also reflects the magnificent history of the Moghul Empire itself, for it turned out to mark the high point of the Empire s glory at the same time as it became a tipping point in Moghul fortunes.The roots of the Moghul Empire lie with the legendary warriors Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine at its height it contained 100 million people, from Afghanistan in the north and present day Pakistan in the west, to Bengal in the east and southwards deep into central India With the storytelling skills that characterize their previous books, Diana Michael Preston bring alive both the grand sweep of Moghul history and the details that make it memorable the battles and dynastic rivalries that forged the Empire alongside an intimate chronicle of daily life within the imperial palace A tale of overwhelming passion, the story of the Taj has the cadences of Greek tragedy and the ripe emotion of grand opera, and puts a memorable human face on the marble masterpiece.
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    One Reply to “Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire”

    1. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted here illegally Regular readers know that later this fall, I m going to be studying the ultra complex history of India for the first time in my life, and that I m slowly easing myself into it this year whenever I have an excuse for example, last November during the terrible attacks in Mumbai, I became curious as to whether the [...]

    2. This book starts exactly where a Mughal story is supposed to start with Babur s life It describes the reigns of all the seven major Mughal emperors and serves as a good introduction to the entire Mughal period overall The focus on the Taj Mahal necessarily means that the main focus of the book is Shah Jahan and Mumtaz, and thankfully, while the author provided evidence of their love, she did not make it a love story This is a well written history, archaeological and architecture book The sources [...]

    3. after reading the twentieth wife and feast of roses, I succumbed to the spell of the moghul empire i spent days, weeks, and months of free time checking out and reading moghul books from the library the authentic tapestries, the memoirs, the stories of betrayal, love, ambition, royalty, sexual indiscretions, jealousy, hatred, family pretty much just fascinating tales of history and what pulled me in and kept me entangled with the moghuls is that it is all true and corroborated it is all non fic [...]

    4. This book provides a broad historical context for the building of the Taj Mahal, focusing on the few generations of Mughal emperors that led up to Shah Jahan, its builder, and ending with the death of his son, who imprisoned Shah Jahan A few chapters are substantially dedicated to the architecture, design and construction of the Taj itself So, if you re looking for a hyper detailed physical examination of the structure alone, this book is not for you On the other hand, it is impossible to unders [...]

    5. A fascinating history of the Moghuls who invaded India and beautified the area with their stunning mausoleums and gardens the Taj Mahal being their most impressive I was drawn to the story by the authors descriptive writing and thorough research Although nearly 400 pages, I could have read .

    6. Definitive book on the history of the Taj Mahal, with a fair bit of context of the great Mughuls of Indian subcontinent This is the my second reading of this wondrous tale of romance and intrigues of the mighty Mughuls starting from Babur till the last great Aurengzeb The authors have done a great service by evaluating all angles of various historical questions like the relationship between Shah Jehan and Jehanara, the architect of Taj Mahal, about the possibility of a black Taj and many All in [...]

    7. Wonderful account of the history of the Mughal dynasty The name is very misleading Although the book gives a lot of details on the Taj Mahal, it provides a rich and fascinating account of the history of the Mughal dynasty stretching from Babur all the way to Aurangzeb Must read for anyone interested in this history

    8. This is a fascinating history of the Moghul Empire and it span from the last echoes of the Mongols to teh rise of the Islamic Empire s reach into northern India Along the way, one emperor s fanatical love for his lost wife coupled with neear boundless energy and wealth gave us a man made Wonder of the World.

    9. This book is really a history of the Moghul Empire from rise to fall with a focus on the lives and love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal Extravagance, excess, greed, and hunger for power causes grief and the downfall of the great.

    10. Great book I went in unsure about whether I would like this or not, and almost quit a couple times, but I m glad I endured It gives an interesting human context for the building of the Taj Mahal, and the lifestyles of the Mongul emporers that ruled in India at the time.

    11. Just couldn t get into Names of people and places kept running together since i have no reference to place or time The book was recommended from a friend, but just not for me.

    12. This book was a fun, breezy look into a very dangerous and opulent time So well written I love when history makes you question the need to read fiction.

    13. This book combines an analysis of what makes the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, so unique with a history of the Moghul Empire starting with Babur and ending with the death of Aurungzeb, son of Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, in 1705.The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan, fourth emperor of the Moghul Empire, in memory of his wife Mumtaz, who died in childbirth, bearing the 13th of her children sired by Shah Jahan Shah Jahan and Mumtaz shared a unique love, marriage and partnership, both r [...]

    14. In the Epilogue of the book the Prestons have quoted Salman Rushdie The building itself left my skepticism in shreds insisting with absolute force on its sovereign authority, it simply obliterated the million counterfeits of it and glowingly filled, once and forever, the place in the mind previously occupied by its simulacra and this, finally, is why the Taj Mahal must be seen to remind us that the world is real, that the sound is truer than the echo, the original forceful than its image in a m [...]

    15. A rather broad and sweeping approach to the building of the Taj Mahal and the context under which it existed at the time and since True to their past work, the Prestons have captured its context with thoroughness and style I highly recommend this work and will certainly seek about the Moghuls and this powerful force in South Asian history and culture Enjoyed the work immensely.

    16. There is so much to the story than the love that inspired this magnificent building The generations of family and regal history that preceeded its building The difference between the western and eastern calendars always surprises me With this remarkable, fully realized biography of the building, the authors put the story in the greater world context which was very helpful.

    17. fantastic book highly recommend this book history sometimes can be dry but d preston makes it so enjoyable and so easy to read.

    18. This book is the story of the family behind the Taj Mahal If you are interested in the actual monument, its design and construction, you will have to do with about 50 pages I got this book at the public library, so I was able to browse it, and the history was I was looking for Otherwise, I would have been disappointed.The Prestons give not only an understandable, but also a readable account of this brutal family history The sketch of the love story is well known, but not how Shah Jahan lost favo [...]

    19. Taj Mahal by Diana Preston depicts the Taj Mahal as this breathtakingly beautiful tribute to a great love between Shah Jahan, the Mogul emperor and his wife Mumtaz Mahul, who died during childbirth Although Preston labors for entire chapters over the beauty of the Taj Mahul and the love these two people shared, the rest of the book is dedicated to illustrating the barbaric inter family brutality and lust for power that eventually led to the downfall of Mogul rule For the many advancements and ac [...]

    20. As much as you think this book is going to focus on the Taj Mahal Shah Jahan Mumtaz Mahal s great love story which it does Preston goes above and beyond in explaining the Mughals in general, and the politics both familial and international behind these emperors and their consorts It s difficult to find books over the Gunpowder Empires that aren t pure surveys of these societies eras, and I was really pleasantly surprised to find that this book isn t just a glimpse into the building of the Taj Ma [...]

    21. This is the second book I read on my trip What a story As iconic as the Taj Mahal is, one has to wonder what the Moghul empire did to India Shah Jahan, who was the last great emperor, built the Taj Mahal after the death of his favorite wife in his harem, Mumtaz Mahal who was in her 13th pregnancy, The authors trace her history as well as Shah Jahan, and a picture grows of a brutal, complex power couple and of the Taj which reflects passion and ambition and brutality and beauty The writing is sup [...]

    22. I was really surprised at how much I liked Preston s Taj Mahal I received the book as a gift or never would have picked it up otherwise I studied the Mughals in college and wrote my thesis on Shah Jahan s grandfather so thought I knew it all about the Mughal s.The book goes beyond the history and brings color and personality to the regime The book is really not a book on the Taj itself, but rather about the events and people that lead to the Taj s construction She goes back before Shah Jahan to [...]

    23. Prior to reading this book, you could have tattooed everything I knew about the Moghul Empire on my eyelid and I would have never noticed So much history I m oblivious to, and glad to have the chance to pick up a little knowledge in an accessible fashion The short version is not unlike any other empire great wealth and power breeds crazy excess and ultimately ruin The love story is interesting, the architectural pieces amazing Well worth picking up.

    24. Extensive research and meticulous attention to detail bring to life the story not just of the building of the Taj Mahal, but the history of the Moghul Empire and the jealousies, envy, and hatred among members of several generations of rulers Having been privileged to see this exquisite, ethereal building, I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the building of the Taj Mahal and in the history of India.

    25. This well researched, well written and absorbing book gives a wealth of details concerning the construction of one of the world s most famous buildings It s also an account of the rise and fall of the Moghul Empire with its fabulous riches, fairytale palaces, abject cruelty, murderous intrigues, family feuds, femmes fatales, powerful matriarchs, harems, hatred, jealousy, insatiable power hunger, epic battles, depravity, addiction, gardens, jewels, elephants, opium and undying love.

    26. This is a fascinating history of the Moghul Empire and it span from the last echoes of the Mongols to teh rise of the Islamic Empire s reach into northern India Along the way, one emperor s fanatical love for his lost wife coupled with neear boundless energy and wealth gave us a man made Wonder of the World.Pretty good narration.

    27. This is a fascinating history of the Moghul Empire and it span from the last echoes of the Mongols to teh rise of the Islamic Empire s reach into northern India Along the way, one emperor s fanatical love for his lost wife coupled with neear boundless energy and wealth gave us a man made Wonder of the World.Pretty good narration.

    28. This is a fascinating history of the Moghul Empire and it span from the last echoes of the Mongols to teh rise of the Islamic Empire s reach into northern India Along the way, one emperor s fanatical love for his lost wife coupled with neear boundless energy and wealth gave us a man made Wonder of the World.

    29. This is a fascinating history of the Moghul Empire and it span from the last echoes of the Mongols to teh rise of the Islamic Empire s reach into northern India Along the way, one emperor s fanatical love for his lost wife coupled with neear boundless energy and wealth gave us a man made Wonder of the World.

    30. This book has a wonderful, fun to read accounting of the Moghul Empire in India Especially interesting was Akbar, a pretty enlightened person for his time and place The book made me want to go back to Taj Mahal and enjoy at least for an entire day I was there for about two yours when I went not enough

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