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Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Famous Diamond

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is NOT required
Members Free and Non-members Free with admission ($10)

Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Famous Diamond

William Dalrymple

On March 29, 1849, the ten-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab handed over to the British East India Company in a formal Act of Submission to Queen Victoria not only swathes of the richest land in India, but also arguably the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i-Noor diamond.

Using original eyewitness accounts and chronicles never before translated into English to craft the first comprehensive and authoritative history of the object, William Dalrymple and Anita Anand trace the true history of the diamond, dispelling the myths that have long surrounded this awe-inspiring jewel.

William Dalrymple is the bestselling author of In Xanadu, City of Djinns, From the Holy Mountain, The Age of Kali, White Mughals, The Last Mughal, and, most recently, Nine Lives. He has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Credit Bikramjit BoseLiterary Reportage, the Hemingway Prize, the French Prix d'Astrolabe, the Wolfson Prize for History, and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. In 2012 he was appointed Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in Humanities at Princeton University. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.

The East India Company played a significant role in colonizing India for the British Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Explore the company’s history and British colonial attitudes towards India and its people in the Athenæum’s special and circulating collections: