Book review: Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

As subject matter goes, the life of Sophia Duleep Singh offers the potential for about a dozen biographies.

Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

Anita Anand Bloomsbury, €28.99; ebook, €18.19

The daughter of a Maharajah, her family was exiled from India to Elveden, in Suffolk, in England, where her father improbably recreated the family estate, complete with leopards, monkeys and exotic birds.

Sophia, who also just happened to be Queen Victoria’s god-daughter, grew up to be a socialite and fashion muse. But she was no ordinary ‘It girl’.

Defying a strict edict, she returned to India and fought for women’s suffrage. From tending wounded soldiers to taking on the might of politicians, Sophia proved herself to be unusually resourceful and daring.

This is an unforgettable, vivid tale, sweeping in scale, made all the more extraordinary when one considers that it is based on real life.


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