Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex von Tunzelmann; The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin Khan - review by David Gilmour

David Gilmour

Divided It Stands

Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire

By

Simon & Schuster 464pp £20 order from our bookshop

The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan

By

Yale University Press 251pp £19.99 order from our bookshop
 

Indian Summer is surely destined for Hollywood. Equipped with a handsome and flamboyant cast, Alex von Tunzelmann has already more or less arranged the settings, designed the costumes and produced a script which flits from place to place and from character to character, deftly interweaving private lives with political events in a racy, dramatic and often humorous narrative.

It’s easy to envisage some colourful scenes: ‘Dickie’ Mountbatten and ‘David’ Prince of Wales larking about in a pool and pig-sticking in Jodhpur (frivolous upper-class background); Mountbatten as viceroy and his wife Edwina having nightly rows in midsummer Delhi (marital stress and pathos); Gandhi on his day of silence visiting

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