The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world. On 29 March 1849, the 10-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the great Fort in Lahore. There, in a public ceremony, the frightened but dignified child handed over to the British East India Company in a formal act of submission 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.
Anita Anand tells the remarkable story of one Indian's 20-year quest for revenge, taking him around the world in search of those he held responsible for the Amritsar massacre of 1919, which cost the lives of hundreds. When Sir Michael O'Dwyer, the lieutenant governor of Punjab, ordered brigadier general Reginald Dyer to Amritsar, he wanted him to bring the troublesome city to heel. Sir Michael had become increasingly alarmed at the effect Gandhi was having on his province as well as recent demonstrations, strikes and shows of Hindu-Muslim unity.
In 1876, Sophia Duleep Singh was born into Indian royalty. Her father Maharajah Duleep Singh was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, one of the greatest empires of the Indian subcontinent, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything, including the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond.