William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple

Multi-prize winning historian and author. Co-founder of the Jaipur Literature Festival and co-host of the podcast, Empire.

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William Dalrymple's Biography

William Dalrymple is one of the world's greatest historians and author of several acclaimed books on Indian history.

Dalrymple is the bestselling author of the Wolfson Prize-winning "White Mughals", and later, "The Last Mughal", which won the Duff Cooper Prize. His 2013 book, "Return of a King", retold the story of Britain's first invasion of Afghanistan, one of its greatest imperial disasters. The book won the Hemingway and Kapuściński award. Dalrymple's most recent book, "The Anarchy", has quickly become recognised as the definitive account of the East India Company. William Dalrymple tells the incredible story of how the once dominant Mughal Empire was replaced by a private British corporation and the subsequent years of imperial rule. President Obama named it one of his favourite books of the year and it was long-listed for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2019, and shortlisted for the Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History, the Tata Book of the Year (Non-fiction) and the Historical Writers Association Book Award 2020.

One of the world's leading thinkers on empires, Dalrymple's deep reflections are now available in podcast format. "Empire" is part of the highly successful 'Goalhanger' stable, which also includes "The Rest is Politics" and "The Rest is History". In the first series of "Empire", Dalrymple and his co-host, Anita Anand, examine British involvement and lingering influence in India. The podcast went straight to number one in the UK Apple Podcast Charts and was nominated for UK Podcast of the Year.

William Dalrymple is also a frequent broadcaster within mainstream media. He has written and presented three television series, one of which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series at BAFTA. He has also won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, The Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Foreign Correspondent of the Year at the FPA Media Awards, and been awarded five honorary doctorates. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has held visiting fellowships at Princeton, Brown and Oxford. He writes regularly for the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, and the Guardian. In 2018, he was presented with the prestigious President’s Medal by the British Academy for his outstanding literary achievement and for co-founding the Jaipur Literature Festival. He was named one of the world’s top 50 thinkers for 2020 by Prospect. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2023 Birthday Honours for services to literature and the arts.

Dalrymple lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.


The Anarchy BY William Dalrymple - CWG Speakers

The Anarchy

The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire

Return of a King by William Dalrywmple - CWG Speakers

Return of a King

The Battle for Afghanistan

The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple - CWG Speakers

The Last Mughal

The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857

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