The Maharajah's Box: An Exotic Tale of Espionage, Intrigue, and Illicit Love in the Days of the Raj (Hardcover)

An Exotic Tale of Espionage, Intrigue, and Illicit Love in the Days of the Raj

By Christy Campbell

Overlook Press, 9781585672936, 474pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2002



Christy Campbell's mesmerizing tale of The Maharaja's Box begins with a list of names of "dormant account holders" published by the Swiss Bankers Association in 1997, during investigations of "Nazi gold." Many of the accounts belonged to Jewish victims of the Holocaust; one was the property of an Indian princess, the deceased daughter of Maharajah Duleep Singh, last Emperor of the Sikhs. Duleep Singh took the throne at the age of five and was King of the Punjab for four years (1845-1849). When the area was annexed by the British, Singh was forced to resign his wealth-including the world famous Koh-i-nor diamond-and all claims to sovereignty. What long-lost fortune might have been locked away in the princess's safety deposit box?
Author Christy Campbell sets out on an investigation that takes him across several continents and into the archives of many strange and dubious characters. He uses a wealth of documents-including nineteenth-century newspaper articles, personal letters written by such notable figures as Queen Victoria, the memoirs of British diplomats, ministers, and foreign secretaries, and the reports of British and Russian spies-to re-create in stunning detail the life of Duleep Singh and his attempt, in middle age, to reclaim his throne and overthrow British rule in India. The result is a fascinating and true tale of espionage, intrigue, and illicit love.