Amongst the riches of 19th century India, as the British fought their way across Mughal territory, an orphaned street-girl is brought to court to perform for the Emperor. That girl was Farzana, and she would become a courtesan, a leader of armies, a treasured defender of the last Mughal emperor and the head of one of the most legendary courts in history. In this beautifully written book, the author's last, Julia Keay weaves a story which spans the Indian continent and the end of a golden era in Indian history, the story of a nobody who became a teenage seductress and died one of the richest and most prominent woman of her age. Farzana rode into battle atop a stallion, though only 4 1/2 feet tall, and led an army which defended a sickly Mughal empire. She dabbled in witchcraft while gaining favour with the Pope, and died a favourite of the British Raj. Farzana is an evocative and moving depiction of one of the most remarkable, and least-known, historical lives of the 19th century.
The Woman Who Saved an Empire