John Grigg

Politics Was in Her Blood

Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi

By

HarperCollins 504pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

Indira Gandhi was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. Her Nehru grandfather, Motilal, made his fortune as a brilliant barrister practicing in Allahabad, though the Nehrus were by origin Kashmiri Brahmins who had established them elves in Delhi in the seventeenth century. Intensely Anglophile, Motilal gave his children an English education. Jawaharlal was sent to school at Harrow, and then on to Trinity College, Cambridge. When he returned to India as a young man he was almost a stranger in his own country, and it was said that he dreamt in English for the rest of his life. Later he would describe himself as the last Englishman to rule India, and it was only half a joke.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,