Monday, November 25, 2013

Shivaji: In search of an English Biography

With the recent Sahyadri treks and the associated staccato, disordered reading of the history of the Shivaji and his conquests from the web, I realized that I need to pick up a good non-fiction book that accounts Shivaji and his victories. Finding one in English was not an easy task. Here are the popular biographies of Shivaji in English:
  • The History of Mahrattas by James Grant Duff (Published in 1826) - Shivaji's story is a part of this book.
  • Shivaji and his times by Sir Jadunath Sarkar (Published in 1919) - This is one of the famous versions and is still quite easily available in the market. This book is described as "hypercritical in method and sceptical in its intellectual outlook" and "His (Sarkar's) sympathies are anywhere except with Shivaji and his gallant companions" by N. S. Takakhav in an introduction to his version of Shivaji's life.
  • The Life of Shivaji Maharaj by N. S. Takakhav (Published in 1921) - This is adapted from a Marathi book written by K. A. Keluskar. This book is not easily available, but it does seem exhaustive.
  • Shivaji: the story of the great king by Charles Augustus Kincaid (Published in 1950) - This version not exhaustive and a bit orthodox.

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