A towering history of the first Afghan War by bestselling historian William Dalrymple. Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, 2013
William Dalrymple is the bestselling author of In Xanadu, City of Djinns, From the Holy Mountain, The Age of Kali, White Mughals, The Last Mughal and, most recently, Nine Lives. He has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the French Prix d'Astrolabe, the Wolfson Prize for History, the Scottish Book of the Year Award, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Asia House Award for Asian Literature, the Vodafone Crossword Award for non-fiction, the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage, and has, prior to the shortlisting of Return of a King, been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize three times. In 2012 he was appointed Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in Humanities at Princeton University. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.
This sorry saga has been recounted many times, but never that I can
recall as well as by Dalrymple. He is a master story-teller, whose
special gift lies in the use of indigenous sources, so often
neglected by imperial chroniclers -- Max Hastings * Sunday Times
Enchantingly written ... In Dalrymple's usual happy style of historical narrative, applied to a fascinating, neat and highly suggestive series of events, this long and involved book will be a great success, and bring the famous story to a large new audience -- Philip Hensher * Spectator *
Of the books swooped into being by his scholarship (to which he himself has applied the adjective "obsessive"), this one is the most magnificent ... His account is so perceptive and so warmly humane that one is never tempted to break away ... This book would be compulsive reading even if it were not a uniquely valuable history, which it is, because Dalrymple has uncovered sources never used before -- Diana Athill * Guardian *