Kishore Singh, if you don’t know the byline, is something like the Galahad Threepwood of India–generations of Rajput royalty have shuddered at the idea that he might finish writing his memoirs/ history of Rajasthan. He has all the gossip on the season’s most interesting book about commoners and kings:
What’s getting everyone’s knickers in a twist now is Javier Moro’s book (Passion India, Full Circle, Rs 295) about the Spanish commoner who married the sophisticated Francophile Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala….
[Anita] Delgado, who came to India with visions of leading a gay life with a man she didn’t really love, or love enough (thinking him some “Moorish prince”), learnt soon enough that her position as his fifth wife, a commoner and a foreigner was far removed from their giddy courtship in Madrid and Paris.
She was rejected by the women of the zenana and by the status conscious British, and in the absence of friends to spend her days with, she resigned herself to luxurious isolation till, seeking companionship elsewhere, she seduced or was seduced by her stepson, Karamjit, the maharaja’s favourite son from his fourth wife, Rani Kanari.
The maharaja was persuaded by Mohammad Ali Jinnah not to make the affair public. Eventually, Delgado was exiled with an extremely handsome settlement, and went on to lead a luxurious (and not entirely lonely) life in Paris.