The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan Plot Summary , Characters and Full Explanation

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan Plot Summary , Characters and Full Explanation

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - In this post you will get all the information about ‘The Twentieth Wife’. The proper and easy explanation of the novel is written below, i hope will read the summary and know everything about ‘The Twentieth Wife’. The Twentieth Wife is a fictionalized account about the early life of Mehrunnisa, a Persian refugee who became the most famous Empress of Mughal India, through her marriage to the Emperor Jahangir. Mehrunnisa and Jahangir are enamored of each other for decades, obstacles upon obstacles throw themselves in the way–rebellions, Mehrunnisa’s mean first husband, more rebellions, and Jahangir’s scheming Empress.

the twentieth wife movie indu sundaresan books in order books by indu sundaresan taj mahal trilogy


·         Abdur Rabin

·         Abul Hasan

·         Akbar

·         Ali Quli Khan Istajlu

·         Asmat

·         Ghias Beg

·         Hoshiyar Khan

·         Jagat Gosini

·         Jahangir

·         Khurram

About the Author

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Indu Sundaresan is an Indian-American author of historical fiction. She was born and raised in India as the daughter of an Indian Air Force pilot, Group Captain R. Sundaresan, who died in a crash while on duty. Her mother's name is Madhuram Sundaresan. The family then moved to Bangalore, where she collected books eagerly. She then migrated to the United States for graduate studies at the University of Delaware. She has an MS in operations research and an MA in economics. She is married and lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and daughter.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Her first novel The Twentieth Wife is about how a young widow named Mehrunissa, daughter of Persian refugees and wife of an Afghan commander, becomes Empress of the Mughal Empire under the name of Nur Jahan.

Her second novel The Feast of Roses is the sequel to The Twentieth Wife and focuses on Nur Jahan exerting authority granted by her husband Jahangir during the sixteen years of her marriage to the emperor.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Shadow Princess is the third novel in the Taj trilogy set after the succession of Shahjahan (Prince Khurram) whose chief queen Mumtaz Mahal dies in childbirth and then their daughter, Jahanara takes centre stage in the politics of the court.

She is also the author of The Splendor of Silence, historical fiction set in a fictional Indian princely state just before Indian independence in 1947. Her work has been translated into some 23 languages worldwide.


The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - The first book in the Taj Mahal trilogy, The Twentieth Wife (2002), Indu Sundaresan’s debut work of romantic historical fiction, tells the story of one of India’s most controversial and brilliant empresses, who almost single-handedly shaped the future of the Mughal Empire. Winner of the 2003 Washington State Book Award, it received overwhelmingly positive reviews following its publication. The author of numerous historical books, Sundaresan studied economics in India and attended graduate school at the University of Delaware.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - The Story begins with The city was celebrating. Prince Salim, Akbar’s eldest son and heir apparent, was to be married in three days, on February 13, 1585. Salim was the first of the three royal princes to wed, and no amount of the unseasonable heat or dust or noise would keep the people of Lahore from the bazaar today  The Twentieth Wife is set in late sixteenth-century India. The protagonist Mehrunnisa is born in 1577 on the road from Persia to India. Her parents, Persian refugees, are fleeing starvation, poverty, and brutality; they can’t afford to look after another child. They consider keeping Mehrunnisa but they don’t want to get attached to her. Instead, they abandon her at the roadside and take off with their other children.

Instead of leaving Mehrunnisa to die, the gods of fate have other plans. Mehrunnisa is found by royal attendants who are struck by her infant beauty and good nature. The attendants take her to the court of Emperor Akbar, where Akbar falls in love with the baby’s dazzling grace. He agrees that she can stay at court and his first wife, Ruqayya, will raise her.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Mehrunnisa grows up in Akbar’s court under the watchful eye of her royal patrons. Akbar ensures she has a thorough education and she learns everything from Persian to Arabic. She is intimidating, yet an alluring child, and Ruqayya dotes on her. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, soldiers across the empire want to marry her. A bright future seems inevitable for Mehrunnisa.

Although Mehrunnisa is only a commoner, she sets her sights on a very important bachelor—Prince Salim, also known as Jahangir. Akbar’s first son and heir, he is supposed to marry a Rajput princess Man Bai. Jahangir’s engagement doesn’t deter Mehrunnisa because she knows that an emperor is expected to take many wives. Akbar, however, arranges a different marriage for Mehrunnisa.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Akbar promises Mehrunnisa to Ali Quli, who is older, greedy, and deceitful. Mehrunnisa doesn’t want to marry him although she knows there isn’t a choice. She owes Akbar everything and cannot betray the love he has shown her. When Akbar dies and Jahangir takes the throne, Mehrunnisa quietly prays for the day when Jahangir will notice her. The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan Plot Summary , Characters and Full Explanation 

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Before long, Mehrunnisa has bigger problems than unrequited love. Ali Quli plots treason against Jahangir and is executed. His crimes place Mehrunnisa under the spotlight for a while, and she does everything she can to prove her innocence to stay alive. By the time Ali Quli dies, Jahangir has nineteen wives; he is looking for another one to add to his collection. This, Mehrunnisa hopes, is the opportunity she has been waiting for.

Mehrunnisa goes all-out to attract Jahangir’s attention. She spills wine on him one evening, giving her a chance to talk to him. Jahangir is attracted to her and wants her in his harem. Mehrunnisa won’t sleep with him, refusing to be a concubine. Maddened by lust, Jahangir proposes to her.

Mehrunnisa becomes his twentieth and final wife. Jahangir names her Nur Jahan, or “Light of the World.” No one can believe that a Persian refugee’s child now sits alongside the Mughal Emperor. Instead of marrying a powerful and influential woman for political gain, Jahangir has married a commoner. For Mehrunnisa, it is like something out of a fairy tale.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - The fairy tale can’t last forever, as Mehrunnisa finds out. While Ali Quli cheated on her with numerous women, none of whom he married, Jahangir places each of his other wives above her. As the twentieth wife, she is the lowest-ranking woman in Jahangir’s life. To make matters worse, he is addicted to alcohol and opiates, and Mehrunnisa rarely sees him coherent and sober. This is not the life Mehrunnisa spent so many years hoping for.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Mehrunnisa decides that there is only one path open to her. She must become the most important wife and make Jahangir change his drunken ways. Usurping the other women is no easy task, however. Every woman in the royal court wants to be the most important wife, and Mehrunnisa has no one she can trust. She must plot her ascension carefully.

The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan - Ruqayya is Mehrunnisa’s best shot at an ally. Ever since Akbar’s death, Ruqayya has struggled to retain her influence over the royal women. Jagat Gosini, Jahangir’s first wife and Empress, is slowly pushing Ruqayya out of favor. Mehrunnisa clings to Ruqayya for moral support, and Ruqayya, in turn, promotes Mehrunnisa’s interests over Jagat Gosini’s. The Twentieth Wife By Indu Sundaresan Plot Summary , Characters and Full Explanation 



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