Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidante

01 March, 2010

Shrabani Basu


272 pages, Rs 395

Twenty-four-year-old Abdul Karim arrived in England from Agra to wait at tables during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. An assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, he suddenly found himself in the role of teacher, or Munshi, to the Empress of India. Shrabani Basu starts with Karim’s origins in Agra and goes on to chronicle the relationship between the Empress and Munshi in the last decade of Victoria’s life.