By John Zubrzycki
The scandal that rocked the Raj
In 1891, a infamous curio-dealer from Simla provided to promote the world's biggest brilliant-cut diamond to the Nizam of Hyderabad. If the audacious deal got here via, the service provider might were manage for all times. however the transaction went horribly fallacious. The Nizam accused him of fraud, triggering a sensational trial within the Calcutta excessive courtroom that made headlines round the world.
The broker was once Alexander Malcolm Jacob, a guy of mysterious origins and vibrant infamy. He used to be India's so much profitable purveyor of worthwhile stones and was once rumoured to be 'rich virtually past the desires of Aladdin'. Hailed as a celeb in his personal lifetime, he used to be the muse for the shadowy Lurgan Sahib in Rudyard Kipling's Kim. A confidant of viceroys and maharajahs, he dabbled in magic and used to be a participant within the nice video game. but he died in obscurity, sporting a lot of his secrets and techniques to his grave.
In this meticulously researched account of Jacob's lifestyles, John Zubrzycki reconstructs occasions via long-lost letters, courtroom files and annotations on mystery documents, bringing us a riveting learn of a guy whose obituary in a number one day-by-day fittingly defined him because the such a lot 'romantic and arresting determine in our time'.
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Extra resources for The Mysterious Mr Jacob: Diamond Merchant, Magician and Spy
Ziya’ Barani. Tarikh-i Firuz Shahi. 216–17. 4. ‘Ain al-Din ‘Abdu-llah bin Mahru. Insha-i Mahru. Ed. and tr. S. A. Rashid, Lahore: 1965, 17. 5. Muhammad Habib. Politics and Society during the Early Medieval Period. Ed. K. A. Nizami, Vol. 1, New Delhi: 1974, 368. 6. Sharfuddin ‘Ali Yazdi. Zafarnama, Vol. 2, Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1888, 74, 123, 138, 144. 7. Rushbrook Williams. An Empire Builder of the Sixteenth Century. Delhi: S. , 18. qxd 4/1/08 1:32 PM Page 11 THE DICTIONARY –A– ‘ABD AL-HAMID GHAZNAVI.
Qxd 4/1/08 3:11 PM Page 18 18 • ‘AINU I-MULK MAHRU Iltutmish (commandant of Baran [modern Bulandshahr]). Aibak also succeeded in securing the allegiance of Ali bin Mardan, who had seized power in Bengal. On the whole, Qutb al-Din Aibak was successful in keeping the defeated Hindu chiefs in India under control and also asserting his independence of the Mu‘izz al-Din’s successor at Ghazni. He died at Lahore in 1210 from an accident while playing chaugan, or polo. –1362). Originally known as ‘Abdullah Muhammad Sharif, son of Amir Mahru, he was serving as a military officer under Muhammad bin Tughlaq; at the time of the latter’s death, he was stationed at Multan (1351).
A senior slave of Mu‘izz al-Din Muhammad Ghauri who was appointed as the commandant of Thangir in 1196 with the instruction to reduce Gwalior. He founded Sultankot, which became the nucleus of the township of Bayana. At some point following Muizz al-Din’s murder in 1206, Toghril briefly styled himself a sultan at Bayana. His son-in-law, Arsalan Khan, was later assigned Bayana as iqta‘ on the grounds of his relationship with Toghril. BAHA AL-DIN ZAKARYA (1183–1262). He was born in a small town near Multan in 1182–1183.
The Mysterious Mr Jacob: Diamond Merchant, Magician and Spy by John Zubrzycki