Babur Nama: An emperor’s life

Ammar Ali Qureshi in the Daily Times:

5383 Babur Nama is the action-packed and colourful chronicle of life of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (1483-1530) — the daring Central Asian who was the founder of the Mughal Empire in the Indian sub-continent, then called Hindustan. Regarded as the first autobiographical work of a monarch in world history, Babur Nama describes the life of Babur from the time he became ruler, at the age of 11, of Fergana in Uzbekistan, to his struggles and conquests in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Hindustan.

The recent edition published by Penguin is based on translation by Annette Sussanah Beveridge (1842-1929) — an orientalist who became famous as a social reformer for promoting women’s education in British India. However, her major contribution has been as a translator of medieval Indian and Central Asian texts from Turkish into English.

Dilip Hiro, the London-based journalist and writer on the Middle East and South and Central Asia, has abridged and edited this new edition. He has also written an introduction and preface to this slim volume, which has reduced the original translation of 300,000 words to one-third the size without impairing the essence and spirit of this masterpiece.

More here.