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It was a scandal that
rocked the highest echelons of the British Raj. In 1891, a notorious jeweller
and curio dealer from Simla offered to sell the world’s largest brilliant-cut
diamond to the fabulously wealthy Nizam of Hyderabad. If the audacious deal
succeeded it would set the merchant up for life. But the transaction went
horribly wrong. The Nizam accused him of fraud, triggering a sensational trial
in the Calcutta High Court that made headlines around the world.
The dealer was Alexander
Malcolm Jacob, a man of mysterious origins. After arriving penniless in Bombay
in 1865, he became the most famous purveyor of precious stones in princely
India, and a confidante of Viceroys and Maharajas. Jacob also excelled in the
magical arts. He inspired all those who met him, including Rudyard Kipling who
immortalised him as Lurgan Sahib, the ‘healer of sick pearls’, in his novel Kim.
Now for the first time,
John Zubrzycki, author of The Last Nizam, conveys the page-turning
colour, romance and adventure of Jacob's astonishing life. Starting on the
banks of the Tigris in modern-day Turkey where Jacob was born, Zubrzycki strips
away the myths and legends. He follows Jacob's journey from the slums of
Bombay, to the fabulous court of the Nizam of Hyderabad, from the
hedonistic heights of Simla, the summer capital of the Raj, to the Calcutta
High Court. This is a story of India, of strange twists and unexpected
outcomes. Most importantly Zubrzycki enters into and truly captures the spirit
of the mysterious Mr Jacob, one of the most enigmatic and charismatic figures
of his time.
ISBN: 9780995359437 ISBN-10: 0995359431 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 304 Published: 3rd April 2017 Publisher: Transit Lounge Publishing Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3