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Paperback Zemindar Book

ISBN: 0553228455

ISBN13: 9780553228458


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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good


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Book Overview

A magnificent, twisting, turning love story unfolds against a backdrop of exotic splendour as Englishwoman Laura Hewitt accompanies her cousin and fiance, first to Calcutta and then to the fabled... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A great book

I've read this book before, and loved it. Great history, wonderful writing style, and good story. Great service from the seller, also.

A singularly well-written book

I bought and read Zemindar at 11, and was enthralled. Now I'm reading it again at 33, and am equally captivated. The book is well-written to the degree that descriptive passages never pall, gruelling subject matter is fascinating without being unsympathetic, and factual information is transparently assimilated with no effort required by the reader. If only all historical (and other) texts were as absorbing, and all novels as easy to read and hard to put down - a compulsive read.

Simply OUTSTANDING!!! A Must Read!

I cannot heap enough praise on Valerie Fitzgerald's superb historical novel "Zemindar." I have always had an interest in India, especially during the period of the British Raj. I picked up a copy of this book at a used bookstore by chance, little knowing that it was to become one of my favorite novels. It is a beautifully written, impeccably researched, totally addictive read.Set in India during the Raj, the author follows the lives of a newly married British couple on honeymoon to India, their young cousin, an Englishwoman who is companion to the bride, and the groom's half-brother, a European hereditary ruler - a zemindar - to his own fabulous kingdom, Hassanganj. This epic saga of love, war, tragedy and ultimate triumph is drawn from the author's personal experience. Ms. Fitzgerald's grandmother lived through the Indian Sepoy Mutiny, which is vividly recreated here. And the author, herself, spent her adolescence in Lucknow where her father was stationed during WWII. Her summers were spent on a zemindari estate similar to Oliver Erskine's extraordinary holdings. This personal perspective adds tremendously to the book's historical accuracy and provides the reader with an unusual, caring and honest perspective of the country, the native population and their British rulers.I would be remiss if I did not mention that Ms. Fitzgerald not only provides a detailed and colorful portrait of India but she has created an exceptional cast of characters, both Indian and British, realistic and strong enough to inhabit the times in which they lived. Notable among them are Oliver Erskine - a combination of Edward Rochester (from Jane Eyre) and Rhett Butler (improbable but most effective and believable) - and Laura Hewitt. The novel is worth the read just to become acquainted with these two.Along with "The Siege of Krishnapur," "Zemindar" is one of the best period works of historical fiction. It won the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize in 1981, selected from scores of manuscripts that included M. M. Kaye's "The Far Pavillions." Not to be missed!JANA

I'm not the only one!

It's nice to know that other people have enjoyed this novel as much as I have. India and the era of the Sepoy Mutiny have always interested me, and this book covers it throughly, without romanticizing. It also delivers a believable love story between two intelligent, independent minded characters.Laura, the philosophical poor relation, owes a certain debt to Jane Eyre, but she is far from being a carbon copy. Travelling to India with her newly married cousin, she wants to know something of the real, non-British India. Along the way she makes some unusual friends, from a scholarly merchant to an Indian noble, not to mention the women who have managed to survive life in India. Oliver owes a debt to Georgette Heyer's harsh featured, anti-social heroes, but again is developed so well that he is a character in his own right. Though English, he is a zemindar, a kind of hereditary Indian noble. He sees all too clearly the mistakes and injustices of the British that lead to the rebellion. He has a few flaws of his own, though, including a tendency to blame women for the tensions between the British and Indians.Like a Victorian novel, it moves slowly, introducing all the characters and situations that will be important in the last half of the story. However, enough happens to keep these chapters interesting.Eventually, Laura, Oliver and their friends find themselves engulfed in one of the bloodiest rebellions of the 19th century. Even today, reading about the war crimes committed by both sides is enough to make you shudder, though this is not one of those novels that revels in descriptions of bloody or violent scenes. It has much more to do with how experience changes the characters. After I read it, I feel almost envious of Laura, whose hardships have brought her so much insight and perspective. Like other posters here, I always wish for a sequel, or even a different book by the same author. It is much better than, for example, the highly romanticized Shadow of the Moon by MM Kaye, which also covers the Rebellion.
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