'It needs a skilful author to clarify the ugly mess of it all, and John Zubrzycki does an impressive job of it here, building up a memorable picture of a glittering family brought to its knees.'
‘Extremely readable . . . a nuanced view of the failings and contributions of Indian princes.’
'Zubrzycki unearths hidden gems with his remarkable storytelling.’
‘Thrilling, deeply satisfying . . . a must-read.’
‘An intriguing book which will keep the readers hooked till the end.’
‘A fascinating and absorbing book with an unforgettable cast of characters.’
‘Goes beyond the glitter and gold of the Jaipur royal household to dig out the obscure accounts of romantic jealousies, property feuds, fatal addictions, suppressed grief and more.’
The House of Jaipur
Juggernaut India, 2020
For generations, the House of Jaipur has been synonymous with exquisite maharanis, polo-playing maharajas and playboy princes; fabulous jewels and opulent palaces. But behind the glittering façades lie stories of forbidden love, forged wills and missing treasures; of lives cut short by alcoholism; and of bitter family feuds over assets worth thousands of crores. Revealed for the first time are the untold stories of life behind the palace doors.
But this chronicle of the House of Jaipur, spanning the final decades of the British Raj to the present day, also paints a larger picture—of how centuries-old feudal traditions collided with rapid social and political change when the princely states, which covered two-fifths of India’s pre-Independence landmass, were abolished.
The Jaipur story serves as a prism to view how the evolution of democracy since Independence has forced the princes to negotiate these upheavals, and find new ways to stay relevant. Over the decades the Jaipur family has harnessed its royal heritage to plunge into politics and social work, becoming hoteliers, patrons of culture and sports, social celebrities and fashion icons in stark contrast to their close relatives in Cooch Behar, whose lives sank into irrelevance and oblivion.
Deeply researched and compellingly narrated, The House of Jaipur is a gripping saga studded with unforgettable characters, their charmed lives often crossed by misfortune and tragedy.