The Last Mughal highlights Dalrymple’s longstanding fascination with the Indian city of Delhi. It presents the Delhi that formed the seat of the Mughal empire in India – a city as brilliant as the monarch who reigned over it. In 1857, the Sepoy Mutiny that shook the vast British empire had its roots in the small rebellion staged by Indian troops in the East India company – a rebellion that had Bahadur Shah Zafar II’s approval. The final uprising had far-reaching consequences for the Indians as well as the British. In the aftermath of the uprising, the Mughal empire lay in complete shambles amidst heartbreaking blood and gore. The peaceful, once powerful emperor could only watch in helplessness and grief as his beloved empire was irrevocably lost.
Dalrymple has crafted the book with great care, by conducting in-depth research and paying attention to local sensibilities. He has even succeeded in capturing the prosperous, poetic vibe of the Mughal empire. Above all, his presentation of a beautiful, vibrant, and multi-ethnic city like Delhi has the potential to keep readers fascinated.