Historic Delhi – An Anthology chosen and edited by H. K. Kaul


An excerpt…

Mark Twain and the monkeys:

“Two of these creatures came into my room in the early morning, through a window whose shutters I had left open, and when I woke one of them was before the glass brushing his hair, and the other one had my note-book, and was reading a page of humorous notes and crying.  I did not mind the one with the hair brush, but the conduct of the other one hurt me; it hurts me yet. I threw something at him, and that was wrong, for my host told me that the monkeys were best left alone. They threw everything at me that they could lift, and then went into the bathroom to get some more things, and I shut the door on them.” (Twain, 1896)

-(Kaul, 1996. p.202)

This 450 page book is a wonderful compilation of excerpts taken from history books, official reports, memoires and travelogues spanning a period of almost 3000 years.  The editor was the Director of the Delhi Library Network, and Chief Librarian, India International Center, New Delhi. Many of the books quoted in this anthology are rare and not in print.

The book provides glimpses of Delhi through the times of Ashoka, Mughal emperors and British Raj.  This anthology of recorded events and anecdotes provides the reader hundreds of snap shots of Delhi through its long tumltous history.

The book is divided into 14 chapters including  Social Life, Entertainment, Weddings, Scholars and Education, Royalty, Population and Poverty, Taxes and Trade, Bazaars, Food and Drinks, Customs and Festivals, Climate, Flora and Fauna, Wild Life and Sports, Arts, Architecture and Monuments. There is nothing left out, creating an interesting and varied profile of the city seen from many eyes over a very long period of time. The book is well annotated with 21 pages of notes.   Historic Delhi is a good read.

The book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Or it may be available at your library: WorldCat

Citation: Kaul, H. K. (1996). Historic Delhi: An anthology. New Delhi [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press.]

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