Lifting the lid on British genocide

Published: 11 May 2007

Award-winning historian William Dalrymple to lecture on the 'unwritten genocide of the British Empire'

Leading historian, William Dalrymple, will visit the University of Glasgow on 14 May 2007 to discuss his latest award-winning book The Last Moghal: The Eclipse of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857.

The Last Moghal, which won the prestigious Duff Cooper Prize for History and Biography, tells the story of the last days of the Mughal capital and its destruction in the catastrophe of 1857.

Dalrymple said: 'The narrative revolves particularly around the last Moghul emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar who creates this wonderful renaissance at the very end of Moghul rule, and who lived to his old age to see that destroyed when the Indians rose up in mutiny against the British and were crushed horribly, in what remains one of the great unwritten genocides of the British Empire. People are aware now of the destruction of the Aborigine peoples of Australia and Tasmania, the Irish potato famine is well documented; this is an imperial horror story of a similar scale, when the British surround and destroy Delhi. It's never been written up completely for example how the British track down, hunt and kill every last Moghul prince they can find.'

Dalrymple has received numerous awards for his writing and in 2002 was awarded the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his outstanding contribution to travel literature. As well as producing a number of written works, including the celebrated In Xanadu and City of Djinns, Dalrymple wrote and presented the television series Stones of the Raj and Indian Journeys which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series at BAFTA in 2002.

His Radio 4 series on the history of British spirituality and mysticism, The Long Search, won the 2002 Sandford St Martin Prize for Religious Broadcasting and was described by the judges as 'thrilling in its brillianceナnear perfect radio'.

The lecture will take place at 2pm on 14 May 2007 in Lecture Theatre 2 of the Boyd Orr Building. The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Lloyd Ridgeon at

Kate Richardson (

Journalists are invited to the event. If you plan to attend or for further information please contact Kate Richardson at the University of Glasgow's Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3683 or email

First published: 11 May 2007

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