I’d never really heard of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh before coming across journalist Anita Anand’s biography of her (Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary), but what a fascinating story her life is!…
Anand tells the story of Sophia’s life in a vivid and engaged manner and the book is packed with background information and historical and geographical detail. Its main subject may be a Princess Suffragette but above all this is a moving story of displacement and exile, of identity and history.
Goddaughter of Queen Victoria, scion of the Lion of the Punjab, feminist revolutionary, Princess Sophia finally gets a worthy biography.
Goddaughter of Queen Victoria, offspring of a deposed Maharajah, and fashion icon—Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was as unlikely an activist as one could find, let alone one who would garner headlines for her support and funding of the sometimes extreme tactics of Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Society for Social and Political Union.
The tale of how this physically diminutive princess transformed from delicate society debutante to passionate activist is detailed in an engrossing new biography by the journalist Anita Anand, Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary. Sophia’s life was extraordinary—one of those stories that begs for a gifted storyteller like Anand. There is never a dull moment as the book races from the sordid history of her family’s demise to her increased advocacy on the topics of suffrage and India. The book is a reminder that many interesting historical figures are still waiting to have their stories told.
Anita Anand uncovers the remarkable story of Maharaja Duleep Singh’s daughter Sophia who turned a suffragette in England and a revolutionary in India..
Anand pieces together those early years of Sophia’s shy and insecure childhood, and the tragic shadow cast by the quick deaths of her mother, brother Edward and her father…
I am often asked how I found Sophia but honestly, she found me. I was on maternity leave in 2010 and to keep my brain awake, I read voraciously in the short windows between my son’s naps. One morning, as I turned the pages of a local magazine I was transfixed by a single image my tired mind could not explain. It showed a brown-skinned woman dressed as an Edwardian lady , selling copies of a militant suffragette newspaper outside `her home at Hampton Court Palace’. She looked Indian. My curiosity was further stoked when I discovered that her surname was Singh, my name too by marriage. I tugged on a thread, and an avalanche of a story landed on me. Princess Sophia Duleep Singh would take me on one of the greatest journalistic adventures of my life…
It was like a hunt for a missing person where the clues were buried under dust and the most of the witnesses were dead…
Everyone knows about the guts, glory and grandeur of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Lion of Punjab. People also know about the life of his son Maharaja Duleep Singh, who lived in obscurity after he was exiled to Britain at the age of 15 and died alone in Paris at 55.
However, not much was known about Duleep Singh’s children, especially his sixth child, Sophia, until Anita Anand, a broadcast journalist in London, happened to come across a photograph of a suffragette selling newspapers outside Hampton Court in a local magazine that completely took her by surprise.
Sophia Duleep Singh was an Indian princess, goddaughter of Queen Victoria, socialite, suffragette, fighter for the rights of Indian soldiers and all in all an interesting subject whose story has been told for the first time by BBC radio and TV presenter Anita Anand in this splendid new biography.
Indian princess Sophia Duleep Singh, one of Emmeline Pankhurst’s right-hand women, has been airbrushed out of history.
Despite leading the Black Friday march on parliament in 1910, throwing herself at the PM’s car, fighting with police and refusing to pay her taxes, the diehard
suffragette has never been given the recognition she deserves.
As the daughter of the last Maharajah of the Punjab and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria, the British government refused to jail her and tried their best to cover up her “embarrassing” exploits.
Now, more than six decades after her death, broadcaster Anita Anand has written Sophia’s astonishing life story in a bid to give the princess, who often sought refuge in Scotland, her rightful place in history.
Sophia Dalip Singh’s conversion to the cause of Indian nationalism is detailed in a new book about the Punjabi princess who discovered and embraced her heritage more than a decade after her father’s death. Princess Sophia was the fifth child of Maharaja Dalip Singh, last ruler of independent Punjab who was forced to give up the fabled Kohinoor diamond to the British, and a goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Born in 1876 in England, she was only 17 when her father died in a Paris hotel room. Until recently, not much attention has been paid to Sophia, first a shy introvert, then a dazzling debutante at the English royal court and finally a militant in the suffragette movement…
…a new book by broadcast journalist Anita Anand, entitled, “Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary”, argues that this daughter of Dalip Singh was a revolutionary through and through and has been unjustly overlooked by historians. In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, Anand explains that until 1903 Sophia was a classic Victorian society woman who made her debut at Buckingham Palace where she had to curtsy, bend and kiss her godmother, the Queen.