Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire

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9780786169016: Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire
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While Galileo was suffering under house arrest at the hands of Pope Urban VIII, the Thirty Years War was ruining Europe, and the Pilgrims were struggling to survive in the New World, work began on what would become one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Taj Mahal. Built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, its flawless symmetry and gleaming presence have for centuries dazzled all who have seen it.

The story of its creation is a fascinating blend of cultural and architectural heritage. Yet, as Diana and Michael Preston vividly convey in the first narrative history of the Taj Mahal, it also reflects the magnificent history of the Moghul Empire, beginning with legendary warriors Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine.

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About the Author:

Diana Preston is an Oxford-trained historian who lives in London. Her book Before the Fallout won the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Award for science and technology.

From Publishers Weekly:

Built in 1631 by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan after the death of his wife, Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is one of the world's few instantly recognizable architectural landmarks, "an expression not only of supreme love but also of confident power and opulent majesty." To tell its story, the Prestons (A Pirate of Exquisite Mind), British historians, trace several generations in the violent family history of India's Moghul rulers and the elaborate mausoleums they built. Though Shah Jahan—who ascended to the throne after killing his brother—undoubtedly loved Mumtaz dearly, their lives turn out to have been slightly less romantic than the legend. Mumtaz died while delivering the 14th child of their 19-year marriage, after which her husband honored her wish that he never take another wife but relied on the constant companionship of concubines. It's the family saga and the exotic palace life that hold the Prestons' attention, but they supply just enough architectural details to satisfy those who might be more interested in how the building supports its massive central dome. Though many questions about the Taj remain unanswered, this small history breaks through the legendary facade to reveal a powerful backstory. 8 color and 55 b&w illus. (Apr.)
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780802716736: Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire

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ISBN 10:  0802716733 ISBN 13:  9780802716736
Publisher: Walker Books, 2008
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9780802715111: Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire

Walker..., 2007
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