The Bride’s Mirror: A Tale Of Life In Delhi A Hundred Years Ago

by Nazir Ahmad, translated by G. E. Ward

Category: Classics, Fiction

‘One of the greatest prose writers in Urdu.’—India Today

The Bride’s Mirror (Mirat ul-‘Arus) was the first bestseller in Urdu. First published in 1869, within twenty years it had gone into several editions and sold over 100,000 copies. An English translation was published in England in 1903 by G. E. Ward, and the book has been almost continuously in print ever since. The novel tells the story of two sisters, Asghari and Akbari, who are married to two brothers in Delhi.

Akbari, the spoilt, mean-tempered and impetuous sister, fritters away all the advantages she is offered and makes a mess of her life. Asghari, who has to contend with all sorts of disappointments and setbacks, prevails in the end and makes a success of everything she turns her hand to.

All through its existence, The Bride’s Mirror had been hailed as one of the most important works of Urdu literature ever published. The portrait it provides of the lives of those who lived in Delhi over a hundred years ago is an indelible one.

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About the Author

NAZIR AHMAD (1831–1912) was a well-known Urdu writer and colonial administrator. Besides the fame he achieved as a writer and thinker in his lifetime, he was admired for his attempts at social and religious reform. Nazir Ahmad died of a stroke in 1912.

G. E. Ward was a civil servant in Bengal. When he retired he studied and taught Urdu at Wadham College, Oxford University.

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