Summary

In 1876, Sophia Duleep Singh was born into Indian royalty. Her father, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, one of the greatest empires of the Indian subcontinent, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything, including the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond.
Exiled to England, the dispossessed Maharajah transformed his estate at Elveden in Suffolk into a Moghul palace, its grounds stocked with leopards, monkeys, and exotic birds. Sophia, god-daughter of Queen Victoria, was raised a genteel aristocratic Englishwoman: presented at court, afforded grace and favor lodgings at Hampton Court Palace and photographed wearing the latest fashions for the society pages. But when, in secret defiance of the British government, she travelled to India, she returned a revolutionary.
Sophia transcended her heritage to devote herself to battling injustice and inequality, a far cry from the life to which she was born. Her causes were the struggle for Indian Independence, the fate of the lascars, the welfare of Indian soldiers in the First World War - and, above all, the fight for female suffrage. She was bold and fearless, attacking politicians, putting herself in the front line and swapping her silks for a nurse's uniform to tend wounded soldiers evacuated from the battlefields.
Meticulously researched and passionately written, this enthralling story of the rise of women and the fall of empire introduces an extraordinary individual and her part in the defining moments of recent British and Indian history.
©2015 Anita Anand (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Christina M. Croft on 22-04-15

Excellent!

Would you listen to Sophia again? Why?

This is a fascinating book, filled with historical detail and yet not dull.

What did you like best about this story?

The history of India, and the story of this little known woman who lived such an interesting life.

Have you listened to any of Tania Rodrigues’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No but I would like to...

Any additional comments?

A wonderful book, beautifully read, so interesting and informative! Thank you!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Saskia on 11-11-15

Inspiring and angering

Well-researched and personal. Provides an affectionate insight into a fascinating family without putting them on a pedestal. They are shown, warts and all, against the backdrop of destructive British colonialism and caught in a web of painful politics and injustice. It is impossible not to be angered by this history and while neither Sophia nor her siblings are perfect, they are incredibly inspiring, without being cliché.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Linda on 10-10-15

Sophia the Suffraget

This was a fascinating story about an Indian Princess who was also a Suffraget. However I did find the story slow until it reached the section about her political activism - about half way through. The story felt rather pedantic and I would have preferred a more generous interpretation of the historical facts. However, worth reading and a good book to return to as I believe that knowing more about this woman would have made me more attentive to details of her earlier life .

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5 out of 5 stars
By June on 23-03-15

Filled in some gaps: Indian independence/British s

After a visit to India last year I've been reading about people, cultures. This book provides a fascinating look at just one woman, her family, her culture and her fascinating connection to British aristocracy. Especially interested in both the history of her father's 'abdication' and its aftermath as well as such figures as Annie Besant, who established a Theosophical Society community in Ojai, California, which exists today on Krotona Hill associated with Krishnamurti Fndn. Alan Hooker of Ranch House Restaurant fame was an early disciple.

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