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Benjamin Cohen | An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad: Scandal in the Raj

This event is free and open to the public and will take place at the bookshop.

Benjamin Cohen will read from and sign his new historical nonfiction, An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad: Scandal in the Raj

In April 1892, a damning pamphlet circulated in the south Indian city of Hyderabad, the capital of the largest and wealthiest princely state in the British Raj. An anonymous writer charged Mehdi Hasan, an aspiring Muslim lawyer from the north, and Ellen Donnelly, his Indian-born British wife, with gross sexual misconduct and deception. The scandal that ensued sent shock waves from Calcutta to London. Who wrote this pamphlet, and was it true?

Mehdi and Ellen had risen rapidly among Hyderabad’s elites. On a trip to London they even met Queen Victoria. Not long after, a scurrilous pamphlet addressed to “the ladies of Hyderabad” charged the couple with propagating a sham marriage for personal gain. Ellen, it was claimed, had been a prostitute, and Mehdi was accused of making his wife available to men who could advance his career. To avenge his wife and clear his name, Mehdi filed suit against the pamphlet’s printer, prompting a trial that would alter their lives.

Based on private letters, courtroom transcripts, secret government reports, and scathing newspaper accounts, Benjamin Cohen’s riveting reconstruction of the couple’s trial and tribulations lays bare the passions that ran across racial lines and the intimate betrayals that doomed the Hasans. Filled with accusations of midnight trysts and sexual taboos, An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad is a powerful reminder of the perils facing those who tried to rewrite society’s rules. In the struggle of one couple, it exposes the fault lines that would soon tear a world apart.

Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad: Scandal in the Raj from The King's English.

GET YOUR COPY NOW! Pre-order your signed copy of An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad: Scandal in the Raj today, by either calling the store at 801-484-9100 or ordering online. Please specify if you will be attending the event and if you want your book personalized.

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
The King's English Bookshop
1511 S 1500 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
An Appeal to the Ladies of Hyderabad: Scandal in the Raj Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780674987654
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harvard University Press - July 8th, 2019