Unsatisfying read – Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India, 1875-6

This book merits 4 stars only as it could have been more comprehensive to do justice to the unprecedented 4-month tour of the Indian subcontinent by the Prince of Wales Bertie, later Edward VII.

This book has a useful introduction that surveys the reasons leading to the tour, a brief description of the cities visited, and the gifts given by the various maharajas. The gifts are shown in colour pictures with a brief description of gifts and the maharajas who gave the gifts.

This book would have been excellent if there is a map of the cities visited, an essay on the durbars organised and a survey of the social-political conditions existing at the various courts visited. Ultimately this book satisfies the readers who like to see beautiful objects from the Indian courts, but not serious historians.

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