William Dalrymple was born in East Lothian but now divides his time between London and Dehli, India. After graduating from Cambridge University he wrote In Zanadu: A Quest at the age of 22, which won the Yorkshire Post Best First Book Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award; he has since won awards and acclaim for each of his subsequent books.
In 1989 Dalrymple moved to Delhi to research his second book, City of Djinns, a lyrical, varied history and description of Old and New Delhi. His fifth book White Mughals, tracing the history of a love affair between a British dignitary and a Hyderabadi noblewoman, and challenges assumptions about the division been the ‘rulers and the ruled’ in the British Raj. He describes himself as fascinated by Islam – “I love the music, I love the food, I love the architecture. It is the thing in life which has most fascinated me.” Works such as White Mughals are in part an attempt to change Western perceptions about Islam.
Dalrmyple is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (and was the youngest Fellow to join), and a member for the Royal Asiatic Society. He has also written and presented for radio and televison; a list of his articles and essays can be found on his website. He is married with three children, and is currently writing a book about the First Afghan War.