The Queen of Jhansi

Mahasweta Devi

Translated by Sagaree Sengupta, Mandira Sengupta

Out of Print


5.5 x 8.5 inches, viii +325 pp. July 2010

ISBN : 9781906497538

Rs  425.00 (HB)
$21.95 (HB)
£11.99 (HB)

Lakshmibai, the Queen of Jhansi, a legendary Indian heroine, led her troops against the British in the uprising of 1857, which is now widely described as the first Indian War of Independence. The image of the young warrior queen who died on the battlefield but not in the minds of her people captured the imagination of novelist Mahasweta Devi, who undertook extensive research that encompassed family reminiscence, oral literature, local histories, and more traditional sources. From these she wove a very personal history of a heroine—an unusual woman, widowed at an early age, who grew from a free-spirited child into an independent young leader.


Devi’s resulting work traces the history of the growing resistance to the British, while building a detailed picture of Lakshmibai as a complex, spirited, full-blooded woman who wears her long tresses unbound at the same time as she prefers a male attire on horseback; who is a cool-headed and far-sighted leader of men, full of warm concern for her soldiers; as well as a mother who worries about her infant son’s well-being. Simultaneously a history, a biography, and an imaginative work of fiction, this book is a valuable contribution to the reclamation of history and historiography by feminist writers. 

Mahasweta Devi is one of India's foremost writers. Her powerful fiction has won her recognition in the form of the Sahitya Akademi (1979), Jnanpith (1996) and Ramon Magsaysay (1996) awards, amongst several other literary honours. She was also awarded the Padmasree in 1986, for her activist work amongst dispossessed tribal communities. 


Sagaree Sengupta is a translator based in the USA. She translates from Bengali, Urdu and Hindi. She has collaborated on this translation with her mother, Mandira Sengupta, an artist who maintains an active interest in her native Benagli literature. The two of them earlier translated Queen of Jhansi in this series.

Mandira Sengupta, is an artist who maintains an active interest in her native Benagli literature. 

Women's Studies
Selected Works Of Mahasweta Devi