Ghalib (1797-1869), nobleman, wit, poet and litterateur, was the last great literary figure produced by Mughal India before the empire was swept away by the British. He wrote in Urdu and Persian, in both prose and verse, and is perhaps the best-loved Urdu writer of the subcontinent of India and Pakistan.
The papers in this volume present aspects of the man, the poet and his age as they appear through the eyes of eminent scholars. Ralph Russell's 'Ghalib: A Self-Portrait' gives a picture of his personality as it emerges in passages from his Persian and Urdu letters and prose writings. Percival Spear describes the Delhi of Galib's day. P. Hardy writes of Ghalib's relations with the British. Essays by A. Bausani and Ralph Russell give an account of his Persian and Urdu poetry. This book was originally published as a contribution to the celebrations of the centenary of Ghalib's death in 1969 and is now being reissued o mark the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. The aim is to make Ghalib accessible to that large audience which is aware of his greatness but can approach him only through the medium of English.
Ralph Russell was Reader in Urdu at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His other publications include Ghalib: Life and Letters (OUP, 1994), The Pursuit of Urdu Literature (OUP, 1992) and Three Mughal Poets (OUP, 1991). He has also published a range of volumes on Urdu designed for teaching purposes.
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