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Imperial Women in Mughal India: The Piety and Patronage of Jahanara Begum
Published by Tauris Academic Studies
At the height of the Mughal Empire's wealth and power, Jahanara Begum, a 17 year old princess, became the head of the imperial harem. Imperial Women in Mughal India shows how this unmarried princess was able to transcend the customary and religious restrictions imposed on her gender, and make an enormous contribution to the architectural, artistic and religious inheritance of the Shah Jahan era. Here, Afshan Bokhari historically and visually annotates Jahan Begum's two biographical Sufi treatises, as well as assessing the princess' sacred and secular architectural commissions. Jahanara Begum was a remarkable figure - Sufi spiritualist, patron, and imperial authority - and this book is essential reading for historians of Mughal India, art historians and those interested in gender studies within early modern history.
Afshan Bokhari is Assistant Professor of Art History at Suffolk University in Boston, USA. She has a PhD in art history from the University of Vienna, and was supervised by Ebba Koch.
Reviewer: Lei Ping
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