The year 1784 found an earnest young female playwright, Elizabeth Inchbald, sitting down to pen what would become her “first success as a writer” humbly titled A Mogul Tale.1. The story involves what appears to be an outlandish plot, since it is a farce which revolves around a party of London ballooners who accidentally land in the seraglio of a great mogul2. But applied research finds that Mrs. Inchbald had indeed done her homework, for the dynasty of the Mughals (as modernity has changed the spelling) really did exist. In researching the great Mughal Dynasty in India, one finds that Inchbald’s work appears to be less fantastic, and even more plausible as an event that could have, indeed, happened, although the thought that a primitive Eighteenth Century balloon would have probably not been able to fly the distance that Inchbald’s work suggests.
The Mughal Dynasty was a line of Muslim emperors who reigned in India from 1526 to 1858.3 The line began with Babur as the first great Mughal emperor. He was a descendant of the Turkish conqueror Timur on his father's side and of the Mongol (in Persian, mughal) conqueror Genghis Khan on his mother's side.4 Babur came to power with the defeat of Ibrahim Lodhi in the first battle of Panipat.5 During his reign as the Mughal, Babur extended his empire to Punjab and Bihar.6 Babur served as the Mughal for only four brief years, but he left his imprint on the whole of his empire for years to come. His reign came to an end in 1530 with his death, at which time he was succeeded by his son Humayun. Humayun reigned for only ten years before being defeated by Sher Shah, an Afghan who ruled north India for fifteen years in ...
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5 Deepali, Naren. The Mughal Dynasty [online]. 2003- [cited 18 November 2003]. Available on World Wide Web: (http://www.geocities.com/narenp/history/history/mughal.htm)
16 “Aurangzeb Alamgir’s Reign.” The Story of Pakistan [online]. 2003- [cited 17 November 2003]. Available on World Wide Web: (http://www.storyofpakistan.com/articletext.asp?artid=A019)
20 Holt, P.M. “The Mughals.” A Dictionary of Eighteenth Century World History. Black, Jeremy and Roy Porter, eds. 1994. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd.
21 “Aurangzeb Alamgir’s Reign.”
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