You may have seen the recent film starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria, but this account has been fully researched by the author and offers the extraordinary true story of an unlikely friendship in the later years of an aging British queen, her eccentric obsession with an engaging Muslim servant from India, and the half-farcical opposition of the British establishment to their relations.
Now a major motion picture starring Dame Judi Dench, Ali Fazal and Eddie Izzard, directed by Stephen Frears. 'A tale of Empire and intrigue brought vividly back to life' - VIKAS SWARUP, author of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE The tall, handsome Abdul Karim was just twenty-four years old when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at tables during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. An assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, he suddenly found himself a personal attendant to the Empress of India herself. Within a year, he was established as a powerful figure at court, becoming the queen's teacher, or Munshi, and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs. Devastated by the death of John Brown, her Scottish ghillie, the queen had at last found his replacement. But her intense and controversial relationship with the Munshi led to a near-revolt in the royal household. Now a major motion picture starring Dame Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul examines how a young Indian Muslim came to play a central role at the heart of the empire, and tells a tender love story between an ordinary Indian and his elderly queen. AUTHOR: Shrabani Basu is an author, journalist and historian. She has also written Curry: the Story of the Nation's Favourite Dish (2003) and Spy Princess: the Life of Noor Inayat Khan (2006). She is based in London. 31 b/w illustrations