The Maharajah's Box

The Maharajah's Box

Product ID: 8103

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Author: Christy Campbell
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 474
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0006530788


This volume pieces together a tale that stretches from the glorious days of the Sikh court at Lahore to the bitter bickering of present-day claimants over the Maharajah's Box, supposedly containing lost treasures.

In June 1977 the Swiss Bankers' Association published a list of over 1700 dormant accounts, untouched for over fifty years. Among the names - supposedly those of Jewish victims of the Holocaust - was an Indian princess, last heard of in 1942 living in Penn, Bucks. Intrigued, Christy Campbell began a search, which took him to India, France, and Russia to uncover a remarkable tale of conspiracy, deceit and imperial realpolitik.

The story of how the ten-year-old Maharajah Duleep Singh was deprived of the Punjab by the British in 1849, lost the world-famous Koh-i-Noor diamond to Queen Victoria, was brought to London and became a christianized country gentleman, then plotted to recover his kingdom while being spied on by the British foreign secret service, is a marvelously enthralling real-life historical thriller.


A tale of murder, deception and riches beyond imagination.- Daily Mail

A fascinating story. . Christy Campbell has researched it thoroughly, finding grist for his storyteller's mill in quarters likely and unlikely; and has written a splendidly readable and illuminating book.- Anthony Cronin, Sunday Independent

The Maharajah's Box is much more than the tale of that massive rock - the Koh-i-Noor - which symbolized the riches of Britain's Indian Empire. It is the saga of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last king of the Sikhs ... and of the spirit of resistance that the jewel represented... Campbell book shows that we are now sufficiently removed from empire to receive good, objective history about it. Now it seems we are ready to consider the imperial legacy in a way that is engrossing, full of amusing detail and largely free of guilt.- Mark Urban, Daily Telegraph

A rich account of the Maharajah's zany escapades. It is an extraordinary, tragic and at times almost fantastical tale . . . The story of Duleep Singh's strange life is remarkable and entertaining, and Christy Campbell's account is well written.- Patrick French, Sunday Times

Campbell recreates the richly textured but shadowy world in which the Maharajah chased his destiny, stretching from the aloof imperial court at St. Petersburg to a beach in Pondicherry. Campbell's impressive research also unmasks, somewhat triumphantly, the spy known only as Our Correspondent in the archives. This work succeeds eminently as a racy, thrilling account with Campbell expertly putting together an intricate jigsaw puzzle of spies and spymasters, of feints and counter feints.- Navtej Sarna, Times Literary Supplement