award‐winning historian and broadcaster, born in Scotland. He won immediate acclaim with his first book In Xanadu (1989), written when he was 22, which charts his journey retracing Marco Polo's path along the Silk Road from Jerusalem to Shangdu. City of Djinns (1993) weaves together history, contemporary events, and anecdote. From the Holy Mountain (1997), a compulsively readable history of Eastern Christianity, was followed by The Age of Kali: Travels and Encounters in India (1998). White Mughals (2002) tells the story of James Achilles Kirkpatrick of the East India Company and his marriage to Khair un‐Nissa, a Hyderabadi princess, together with a social history of the British in India during the late 18th and early 19th cents. His recent work, The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857, was published in 2006.