A Princess's Pilgrimage - Siobhan Lambert-Hurley

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Title: A Princess's Pilgrimage

Author: Siobhan Lambert-Hurley

Publisher: Kube Publishing

Binding: Hardback, 180 pages

Review:

A Princess’s Pilgrimage was very different to what I had expected, and indeed very different to any account of pilgrimage that I have previously encountered. Contrary to offering extensive commentary on the religious rites and customs of the journey to Makkah, or even personal reflections, the focus of the book actually came across quite different. Nevertheless, it was still an interesting read, and offered a unique insight into the Arab world from the eyes of an Indian princess. I particularly enjoyed reading the Introduction to the book by Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, which I actually read after completing the book. The introduction helped me to put the account into context, and appreciate the value of the book as a piece travel writing from the era.

From the Publisher:

A Princess Pilgrimage – A Pilgrimage to Mecca (1863-1864) In 1870, Nawab Sikander Begum of Bhopal became the first South-Asian Muslim woman to publish an account of her pilgrimage to Mecca. She traveled with a retinue of a thousand, visited Jeddah and Mecca, performed the requisite rituals and observances, then returned to India and wrote her witty and acerbic impressions of her visit. Reproduced here,this is the original English translation by the wife of a British colonial officer of an unpublished Urdu manuscript. It is accompanied by a critical Introduction and Afterword that make this offering a comprehensive resource on travel writing by South-Asian Muslim women, and encourage the reader- whether scholar, student or enthusiast – to rethink established understandings relating to travel writing colonialism and world history.

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