10/19/2007 11:40 AM
Described by the dealer as a work created by the "Original Wizard of Oz," this romance in verse form details the love of Prince Maahpaykar and Princess Saimtan. Written by Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Oudh (1822-1897), this volume in Urdu, with Persian chapter headings, is printed in lithograph and lavishly decorated in gold. Preceding the title page is a full -page hand-colored portrait of the author seated in a gold chair, dressed in an emerald green robe, with two attendants standing behind him.
Wajid Ali Shah was a true patron of the arts. The capitol city Lucknow flourished as a cultural center under his patronage, and he himself was a gifted composer, playwrite and a Kathak dancer. He wrote under the pen name Qaisar, but also used a pseudonym "Akhtarpiya."
In 1856 the East India Company annexed Oudh, and Wajid Ali Shah was first imprisoned, and then exiled to Metiabruz near Calcutta. While in exile he attempted to recreate the glory days of Lucknow. He died in 1856, at the age of 65.
Visit the Special Collections Department to view this lovely book.
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