This is a reconstruction of the life and times of Salar Jung, the Regent of Mahbub Ali Pasha and the Dewan of Hyderabad for thirty years. Based on Salar Jung’s correspondence, the book explores the richly layered and developing relations between the British and the Hyderabadi cultures, the misunderstandings, the tussle for power and the conflicts of interest. It attempts to present the truth as Salar Jung saw, evaluated, and reacted to it, as it shaped his inner self. Archival source material and historical fact are sensitively interwoven with stories and anecdotes to create an authoritative and unforgettable portrait of Salar Jung. What emerges is a revealing case study of British colonial administration with themes that continue to be relevant today.
Harriet Ronken Lynton (1920–2018) lived in Hyderabad for several years. After graduating from Radcliffe magna cum laude, she became a member of the faculty of the Harvard Business School before it admitted women. She authored several books on organizational behaviour. Writing on the history of Hyderabad was a strong avocation. In addition to publishing this biography of Salar Jung, she published a biography of Mahbub Ali Pasha, the Nizam of Hyderabad as well as one of Mrinalini Sarabhai, the Bharata Natyam dancer. Lynton wrote four novels and a memoir.