From the ‘Ante-natal’ Scenario to the Present
by Narendra Luther , , pp.,
August 2006, volume 30, No 8

Until some years ago, there were hardly any books on the history of Hyderabad written in English by Indians, and historians and research scholars had to necessarily pour over Urdu and Persan manuscripts in the Archives Department and libraries. Then suddenly there was a spurt of them ranging from small pamphlet like booklets to lavish coffee-table publications. Narendra Luther’s first book was on Mohamed Quli, the poet-king of Golconda and the founder of Hyderabad city. This book, Hyderabad: A Biography was published first in 1998 by Orient Longman , and as the author says in his preface, was quickly sold out and there was a great demand for it. A new edition was published by Oxford University Press in 2004. This edition has been updated and has many additions, bringing it up to the present time. On the cover is a painting of the Charminar by M.F. Husain.This edition also has footnotes which in the opinion of this reviewer makes the historical material doubly interesting. They were deliberately avoided in the earlier edition, as the author again explains, it is commonly believed that readers find footnotes distracting. A bibliography and a list of oral history narrators is also there. A great deal of history in Hyderabad is often hearsay.

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