A Princely Impostor?: The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal

4.18 avg rating
( 67 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780691090313: A Princely Impostor?: The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal

In 1921 a traveling religious man appeared in eastern British Bengal. Soon residents began to identify this half-naked and ash-smeared sannyasi as none other than the Second Kumar of Bhawal--a man believed to have died twelve years earlier, at the age of twenty-six. So began one of the most extraordinary legal cases in Indian history. The case would rivet popular attention for several decades as it unwound in courts from Dhaka and Calcutta to London.


This narrative history tells an incredible story replete with courtroom drama, sexual debauchery, family intrigue, and squandered wealth. With a novelist's eye for interesting detail, Partha Chatterjee sifts through evidence found in official archives, popular songs, and backstreet Bangladeshi bookshops. He evaluates the case of the man claiming, with the support of legions of tenants and relatives, to be the long-lost Kumar. And he considers the position of the sannyasi's detractors, including the colonial government and the Kumar's young widow, who resolutely refused to meet the man she denounced as an impostor.


Along the way, Chatterjee introduces us to a fascinating range of human character, gleans insights into the nature of human identity, and examines the relation between scientific evidence, legal truth, and cultural practice. The story he tells unfolds alongside decades of Indian history. Its plot is shaped by changing gender and class relations and punctuated by critical historical events, including the onset of World War II, the Bengal famine of 1943, and the Great Calcutta Killings. And by identifying the earliest erosion of colonialism and the growth of nationalist thinking within the organs of colonial power, Chatterjee also gives us a secret history of Indian nationalism.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Back Cover:

"Princely Impostor is spell-binding narrative history--as gripping as a novel by Charles Dickens--that presents a vivid portrait of life in Bengal during the first half of the twentieth century. In addition, Chatterjee unobtrusively reflects on narrative history, historical truth, and the meanings of personal identity. A superbly written, thoroughly engrossing, provocative, and informative book."--Richard Bernstein

"This is the first scholarly rendering of the incredible tale of the Bhawal sannyasi. Its strengths and contributions are many. Chatterjee's gripping story offers a fascinating portrait of a colonial society. It also wonderfully demonstrates the historian's craft as a narrator, keeping the reader glued to the page."--Gyan Prakash, author of Another Reason

"This extraordinary book represents an immensely valuable addition to the literature on South Asia. It will have great influence both within and outside of the academy and will soon be regarded as a classic."--Amitav Ghosh, author of The Glass Palace

About the Author:

Partha Chatterjee is Director and Professor of Political Science at the Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of many books, including Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World and The Nation and Its Fragments (Princeton). He is also a founding member of the editorial collective Subaltern Studies as well as a playwright and essayist in Bengali.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Partha Chatterjee
Published by Princeton University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0691090319

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 42.01
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Partha Chatterjee
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1921 a traveling religious man appeared in eastern British Bengal. Soon residents began to identify this half-naked and ash-smeared sannyasi as none other than the Second Kumar of Bhawal--a man believed to have died twelve years earlier, at the age of twenty-six. So began one of the most extraordinary legal cases in Indian history. The case would rivet popular attention for several decades as it unwound in courts from Dhaka and Calcutta to London. This narrative history tells an incredible story replete with courtroom drama, sexual debauchery, family intrigue, and squandered wealth. With a novelist s eye for interesting detail, Partha Chatterjee sifts through evidence found in official archives, popular songs, and backstreet Bangladeshi bookshops. He evaluates the case of the man claiming, with the support of legions of tenants and relatives, to be the long-lost Kumar. And he considers the position of the sannyasi s detractors, including the colonial government and the Kumar s young widow, who resolutely refused to meet the man she denounced as an impostor. Along the way, Chatterjee introduces us to a fascinating range of human character, gleans insights into the nature of human identity, and examines the relation between scientific evidence, legal truth, and cultural practice. The story he tells unfolds alongside decades of Indian history. Its plot is shaped by changing gender and class relations and punctuated by critical historical events, including the onset of World War II, the Bengal famine of 1943, and the Great Calcutta Killings. And by identifying the earliest erosion of colonialism and the growth of nationalist thinking within the organs of colonial power, Chatterjee also gives us a secret history of Indian nationalism. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 47.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Chatterjee, Partha
Published by Princeton University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days.THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IP-9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 44.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Partha Chatterjee
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1921 a traveling religious man appeared in eastern British Bengal. Soon residents began to identify this half-naked and ash-smeared sannyasi as none other than the Second Kumar of Bhawal--a man believed to have died twelve years earlier, at the age of twenty-six. So began one of the most extraordinary legal cases in Indian history. The case would rivet popular attention for several decades as it unwound in courts from Dhaka and Calcutta to London. This narrative history tells an incredible story replete with courtroom drama, sexual debauchery, family intrigue, and squandered wealth. With a novelist s eye for interesting detail, Partha Chatterjee sifts through evidence found in official archives, popular songs, and backstreet Bangladeshi bookshops. He evaluates the case of the man claiming, with the support of legions of tenants and relatives, to be the long-lost Kumar. And he considers the position of the sannyasi s detractors, including the colonial government and the Kumar s young widow, who resolutely refused to meet the man she denounced as an impostor. Along the way, Chatterjee introduces us to a fascinating range of human character, gleans insights into the nature of human identity, and examines the relation between scientific evidence, legal truth, and cultural practice. The story he tells unfolds alongside decades of Indian history. Its plot is shaped by changing gender and class relations and punctuated by critical historical events, including the onset of World War II, the Bengal famine of 1943, and the Great Calcutta Killings. And by identifying the earliest erosion of colonialism and the growth of nationalist thinking within the organs of colonial power, Chatterjee also gives us a secret history of Indian nationalism. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 49.40
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Chatterjee, Partha
Published by Princeton University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # WP-9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 39.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 12.07
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Partha Chatterjee
Published by Princeton University Press 2002-03-04, Princeton, N.J. |Oxford (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press 2002-03-04, Princeton, N.J. |Oxford, 2002. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 47.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 8.05
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Chatterjee, Partha
Published by Princeton University Press 3/24/2002 (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press 3/24/2002, 2002. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. A Princely Impostor?: The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 57.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Partha Chatterjee
Published by Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Paperback Quantity Available: 4
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 48.87
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.31
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Chatterjee, Partha
Published by Princeton University Press (2017)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 0691090319

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 58.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Chatterjee, Partha
Published by Princeton University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0691090319 ISBN 13: 9780691090313
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our US warehouse in 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND.Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IP-9780691090313

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 48.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 12.07
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book