As Western forces prepare to leave Afghanistan this year, William Dalrymple looks at the first invasion by the British in 1842. Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan is the third, and arguably best, book in Dalrymple’s history of the British in South Asia during the early and mid-19th century. ‘This is clear-eyed, non-judgmental, sober history, beautifully told’ (The Guardian). Join William as he presents his important new book and discusses the parallels with the current situation in Afghanistan. Chair: Richard Miles from the University of Sydney.
William Dalrymple (International)
William Dalrymple is the author of nine books about India and the Islamic world, including City of Djinns (Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Prize), White Mughals (Wolfson Prize for History and SAC Scottish Book of the Year Prize), The Last Mughal (Duff Cooper Prize and Crossword/ Vodafone Award for Non-Fiction) and Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India (Asia House Literary Award). He recently curated a major show of Late Mughal art for the Asia Society in New York, Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi 1707-1857. His new book, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839-42 was published to acclaim in December. He writes regularly for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and the Guardian, and is one of the founders and a co-director of the Jaipur Literary Festival. He has honorary doctorates of letters from the universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen, Bradford and Lucknow, and in September took up a visiting fellowship at Princeton. williamdalrymple.uk.com
Dr Richard Miles teaches ancient history at the University of Sydney. His books on the ancient world include Carthage Must be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of An Ancient Mediterranean Super-Power . He has written and presented numerous BBC documentaries, including the 6-part series Ancient Worlds. His new BBC series The Secret History of Archaeology will screen in 2013. Richard has also presented on the BBC's flagship The Culture Show. His forthcoming book examines the Romans’ fixation with predicting their empire’s demise.