City of Djinns has ratings and reviews. Warwick said: Delhi is lucky to have William Dalrymple as a chronicler – not many cities get such exemp. Sparkling with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels back the layers of Delhi’s centuries-old history, revealing an extraordinary array of characters. May 27, Author: William Dalrymple Pages: Published in the year: Publishers: Penguin Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir For Dalrymple, who has.

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It made me want to seek out the two Eighteenth Century books he used as a guide to learn more.

He wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu when he was twenty-two. She in in her early forties. Most of them consider themselves as full—blown British. Some respected the saints, the others abhorred and beheaded them. Peel back one more layer.

The book showcases and plots the life of the city of Delhi willlam the ages; its origins and its collapse, its resurgence and its history is all laid bare for us to peer into.

Jun 08, russell barnes rated it liked it Recommended to russell by: Under the guise of describing a year in Delhi, Dalrymple also goes back into the history of Delhi, ranging from even before the days of the MahabharataIndia’s great wllliam epic which is about as old as Homer’s Iliad and Odysseyall the way to the present day.

City of Djinns by William Dalrymple | : Books

In particular I found few of the incidents very interesting. What’s so weird, aside from his alleged expertise, is that he shows up on camera seated in a lotus position, with bare feet, answering in a candence so Indian I had to be certain it was him doing the talking. What looked like a fling with India soon turned into a lasting romance, and the Scottish author followed it up with two more books on related themes that became the centrepiece of his literary career – White Mughals and The Last Mughal.

No trivia or quizzes yet. The groom is quite a bit younger than the bride. History, I would say and so says WD; a beguiling city built from a scratch and then destroyed, reduced to a scratch. In the gardens the annuals shrivelled and died. Conquered by the mightiest of conquerors the world has ever seen, Delhi, apart from being their capital of power, was like a beautiful princess that every king or emperor vied for.


Written by a Brit, this book is the result of a one year stay in Delhi. The sights and smells of streets of Delhi are described with such detail and with his supreme control over the narration the author has created a stunning and lively portrait of the soul of Delhi.

City of Djinns – Wikipedia

View all 7 comments. William Dalrymple was born in Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. For the book, part travelogue and memoir, the author spent nearly a year in Delhi unravelling the city’s archaeological riches.

View all 4 comments.

On the complete neglect of the mighty past, of the structures, of traditions, etc. Beginning with recent and familiar events the author goes backwards to the cavernous chambers of myth and legend holding the reader’s interest with anecdotes and stories both from the past and present.

I longed for a chronology of Indian history and the many Urdu, Persian, Arabic and Hindi terms are sometimes translated and sometimes left for us to Google or guess.


Among flowers and trees he should admire the narcissus, the violet and the orange Based upon the letters that they wrote back home, various British civil servants like Metcalf, Lutyens, Fraser, have been pictured and their distinct approaches towards India and Indians has been well illustrated. I first heard about this book as a result of searching eBay for the works of the Scottish writer and poet George Mackay Brown, whose works I collect.

There has never been a more vivid and beautiful description of this city, with so much research and with such accuracy.

For Dalrymple, Delhi is a city of accumu Delhi is lucky to have William Dalrymple as a chronicler — not many cities get such exemplary treatment as this. The earth cracked like a shattered windscreen.

City of Djinns

A gentleman ‘should not make too much use of tobacco’ but ‘should recognise the Fort in Agra as unequalled in the whole world and I felt such a sense of loss. History comes alive then.

A taster of just a few of the book’s delights Aug 02, Sudhakar Gupta rated it really liked it Shelves: We get to meet Cihy Jaffrey who serves as an expert on Purani Falrymple, the Haxby sisters who tell us about the unfortunate Anglo Indians, and a visit to an Office of the Railways Board reveals a tykhana built for William Fraser. He has extensively studied the accounts of various travelers who wrote about the then society, the state of music and art, the clandestine diplomacy inside the courtrooms, etc.


Sparkling with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels back the layers of Delhi’s centuries-old history, revealing an extraordinary array of characters along the way-from eunuchs to descendants of great Moguls. This gives and unbiased view of Delhi, what she was, is and has always been. I remember missing my stop.

Nor is he content with hearing only from those still in the city. Despite William Dalrymple ‘s deeply upsetting background of being posh, and having wealthy relatives allowing him to potter around citj castles in Scotland and seemingly taking random years off without having to work, it’s a pretty inspiring read. Brown was only half right. The wilkiam was when I was 15, and even then, I found it to be an interesting book. He travels to Pakistan to hear from Delhi’s former population of Muslims too, still speaking what djinne refer to as pure Delhi Urdu in the streets of Karachi.

This explained why Delhi, the grandest of grand old aristocratic dowagers, tended to behave today like a nouveau-riche heiress: Delhi, once was the land of poets like Mir, Jalal-ud-din Rumi, Ghalib and the likes, and the greatest gift to a king dalrympld be the latest eilliam from the great Mir than any jewel or tapestry. Posted by Sandhya Iyer at I kept running into William Dalrymple’s City o Djinnswhich Brown is quoted in the accompanying squibs as saying it was his favorite travel book.

What it lacks in insight, it makes up for in enthusiasm. The book starts with a lot of promise but takes a meandering tone halfway through the narration.

I think he’s a razor-sharp observer who can write hilariously. There was a problem adding your email address.