Victoria & Abdul

The tall, handsome Abdul Karim was just twenty-four years old when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at tables during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. An assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, he suddenly found himself a personal attendant to the Empress of India herself. Within a year, he was established as a powerful figure at court, becoming the queen's teacher or Munshi, and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs. Devastated by the death of John Brown, her Scottish ghillie, the queen  had at last found his replacement. But her intense and controversial relationship with the Munshi led to a near revolt in the royal household.

Victoria & Abdul examines how a young Indian Muslim came to play a central role at the heart of the Empire, and his influence over the queen at a time when independence  movements in the sub-continent were growing in force. Yet at its heart it is a tender love story between an ordinary Indian and his elderly queen, a relationship that survived the best attempts to destroy it.

" tale of Empire and intrigue, brought vividly back to life "
Vikas Swarup, author of Slumdog Millionaire

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