THE YOUNG EMPEROR by Robert Payne
Kirkus Star

THE YOUNG EMPEROR

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A first person narrative, this has the feel of actual observation -- the color, the smell, the look of the country and the people -- of Hindustan of the Mogul emperors, and the quality of an adult fairy tale. Young Taverner falls head and heels in love with the Indies from a sailor's yarns, disowns his father's shipbuilding yards and heads East as soon as he can. Working in the English factory, he is introduced to the young Prince, Shah Jehan, and later to the Emperor, who bribes him with the beautiful Sinta. But it is the Prince and his lovely Mahal who win Taverner's loyalty and for whom he tries to make guns. When the Emperor has Sinta tortured to death and Taverner imprisoned it is the Prince who helps him escape, so that Taverner has a personal interest in capturing the Emperor. This accomplished, the Prince accedes to the throne, his daughter, Meriam, is given to Taverner, and with Mahal's death in childbirth, the idea for the Taj Mahal comes into being....A wonderful panorama of elephants, lions, the snows of Kashmir, poison, underground cellars, ruined temples, murders, knives, women soldiers, the position of the English traders, the fabulous splendors and wealth of the East, -- all in a leisurely, relaxing pace of unusual charm...

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1950
Publisher: Macmillan