It’s 10:36pm at night and I just finished reading Anita Anand’s excellent “Sophia“. It is the story of Princess Sophia, the grand-daughter of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. I had no idea of her or her father; I came across this book thanks to the Empire podcast (hosted by Anita and William Dalrymple) and bought the book. So glad I did. Started reading it in the last week of December, then slowed down as I didn’t have time, but made up for the lost time by switching to the audiobook :) (convenient in that I can “read” when walking about etc t00) and finally read (as in actually read) the last few chapters today.
I loved the book. Very touching towards the end, and I am glad Anita Anand took the time to write her story as it’s worth telling and it would have been a shame if she disappeared into history with no one to remember her. The book touches upon a lot of topics that happened during Sophia’s life time – couldn’t have been easy writing on such a range of topics, giving each their attention but not getting too bogged down in the details, and tying them all to Sophia’s life. I learnt more about Indian history, Queen Victoria, Duleep Singh, and the Suffragate movement thanks to this book. But more than all the history, I loved that this book was ultimately something personal – about Sophia – than just history. I thoroughly enjoyed the way it was written.