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Return of a King:
The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42

William’s new book – Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42 – was published in paperback in February by Bloomsbury in the UK and India and the US by Vintage. For a taster, here is a pdf file of the plate sections.

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Praise for Return of a King

Alexander McCall Smith, New Statesman Books of the Year
“I have admired William Dalrymple's writing ever since I read his remarkable his remarkable account of the travails of the Christians of the Middle East, From the Holy Mountain. Dalrymple is a writer who can make the most recondite historical issues come alive and with each successive book he becomes a more entertaining and enlightening companion. His latest offering, Return of a King, is a tale of imperial plotting and folly in a region that has suffered from every sort of indignity and tragedy at the hands of local and foreign rulers. It is quite simply brilliant.”
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Fiammetta Rocco, The Economist
“Dalrymple, probably the best known British historian of India, has written eight acclaimed books on a wide variety of subjects, but this is the book he was born to write.”
John Darwin, The New York Times
“Ever since this fiasco, an entire phalanx of writers has denounced the arrogance, folly and incompetence of the British aggressors. The latest and most brilliant in this long line of critics is William Dalrymple and his Return of a King ... Those who have read his White Mughals and The Last Mughal will know what to expect: a readable style, a deep humanity and, above all, an extraordinary skill in evoking the lost worlds of Mughals and Afghans... Return of a King is much the fullest and most powerful description of the West’s first encounter with Afghan society ... Dalrymple is in no doubt about the moral horror of the British invasion. But he is too good a historian to fall back on polemic. The cruelty and treachery with which Afghans treated one another is crisply portrayed ... His pen-portraits are a masterpiece ...”
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Read further reviews, quotes and a synoposis

Other History books by William

Cover of The Last Mogual Paperback

Praise for
The Last Mughal

“A compulsively readable masterpiece... ”
New York Review of Books
“Brims with life, colour and complexity. An outstanding book, distinguished by its painstaking research, narrative flair and imagination”
Evening Standard
“Brilliant ... a magnificent, multi-dimensional work which shames the simplistic efforts of previous writers”
David Gilmour, Spectator
“Dalrymple is an outstandingly gifted historian”
Max Hastings, Sunday Times

Read further reviews, quotes and a synoposis

Cover of White Moguals Paperback

Praise for
White Mughals

“William Dalrymple is that rarity, a scholar of history who can really write. This is a brilliant and compulsively readable book”
Salman Rushdie
“Dalrymple’s irresistible masterpiece”
Philip Mansel, Spectator Books of the Year
“A bravura display of scholarship, writing and insight. Dalrymple manages the incredible feat of outpointing most historians and most novelists in one go. This is quite simply a stunning achievement”
Frank Mclynn, Independent on Sunday

Read further reviews, quotes and a synoposis