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This book is centred on the legend of Padmini, the medieval Rajput queen widely believed to have been pursued by Alauddin Khalji, Sultan of Delhi. Sreenivasan investigates the many narratives that exist about this heroic queen's legend in India, ranging from Sufi mystical romances in the sixteenth century to nationalist histories in the late nineteenth century. The book explores the manner in which early modern regional elites, caste groups, and mystical and monastic communities shaped their distinctive versions of past times through the repeated refashioning of this legend. It then traces the appropriations of these narrations by colonial administrators and nationalist intellectuals for varying political ends. In the process, the author successfully shows us not only how particular narratives about virtuous women changed and circulated across the communities of South Asia, but also the social and political investments in discourses of gender and history that occurred simultaneously. This book will interest historians of memory, gender, community, culture, and history-writing in early modern and modern South Asia. In illustrating how significant legends about the past emerged out of particular pre-colonial repositories of 'tradition', the book also contributes to current debates on the nature of colonial transitions and the nature of pre-colonial historical consciousness.