Book Discussion

Along the Th ames and the Ganges:
A Glimpse of Elizabethan and Medieval Indian Literature
Nilanjana Taraphder
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Nilanjana Taraphder, an English Honours graduate from Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata, is an MA, English from Calcutta University. She is an independent research scholar having made an attempt at bringing together the literatures of Elizabethan England and Mughal Era India that was of a similar age in her book entitled Along The Thames and The Ganges: A Glimpse of Elizabethan and Medieval Indian Literature. Akin to parallel lines, these literary compositions run alongside each other, enabling a comparison to arise.

At a time in England when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne, Emperor Akbar was the monarch of India. When Thomas Nash, a University Wit published The Unfortunate Traveller, Abul Fazl’s brother Faizi, composed an epic named Nal wa Daman. The image of this rare manuscript and several others of sixteenth century England and India are included in the book. When William Shakespeare’s plays were being performed at the Globe Theatre in England, in India, a young man named Banarasidas was engrossed in penning the first autobiography in an Indian language; the religious fervour of the Bhakti movement had reached the zenith with poets like Tulsidas, Mirabai, Kabir and many others. Empress Noor Jahan’s heartrending composition was brought forth by Sir John Charles Edward Bowen that graces the book as well.