New Delhi : Penguin Random House India announces the acquisition of three new titles by award-winning author and historian Vikram Sampath. These new titles will be published under the Penguin Viking imprint from 2022 onwards.
Author Vikram Sampath, commenting on his experience of writing these new books, says, ‘Working with Penguin and its motivated team has been extremely refreshing and rewarding. I am delighted that I’m deepening this bond with Penguin through a series of three forthcoming books that I have signed up with them, in addition to the second volume on Savarkar that I’m trying to wrap up. Given the huge demand for non-fiction today, it’s perhaps never been a better time in India to be a historian and to tell these compelling stories of our past in a manner that interests, excites and inspires.’
The three titles will explore the stories of important and contested figures of our past who continue to define contemporary notions of nationhood and secularism. Like his earlier work on Savarkar, these books will also be meticulously researched and unbiased accounts that assess these legacies in an objective manner. They would be drawing from a wide range of rich sources from across India and abroad.
Among the books in the series is a biography of the 18th Century ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. He is a historian’s enigma and his stormy life has been the subject of much debate on all sides of the ideological spectrum. A reassessment of his life and legacy is hence an important addition to our historiography.1
Vikram would also be revisiting the legacy of the famed Maratha ruler of the 17th Century in his book titled Chhatrapati: The Life and Times of Shivaji Bhosale. In the midst of an oceanic amount of literature on the legend of Shivaji, here is a book that will survey all the different versions of his life and bring them together as a comprehensive and compelling story of this inspiring genius.
Another book tentatively titled Unsung Tales from Indian History will seek to expand the scope of our historical narrative to dynasties, heroes and heroines beyond the microscope of Delhi. It will open a window to contributions of leaders like Chand Bibi of Ahmednagar, who defeated Akbar’s armies in 1595; Lachit Borphukan, who led the armies of the Ahom Dynasty and defeated the Mughals in the Battle of Saraighat; the story of Tikendrajit Singh, the commander of the Manipuri army, who valiantly fought the Anglo-Manipur War, and many more stories, which have largely remained untold for a long time.
Premanka Goswami, Executive Editor at Penguin Random House India, says, ‘Vikram Sampath is a brilliant historian. Time and again, his works have fascinated us and expanded our viewpoints. We are thrilled to work with Vikram on these three new books that will open a window to understanding Chhatrapati Shivaji and Tipu Sultan, and showcase the many tales of valour from our rich past.’
Meru Gokhale, Publisher, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘Vikram Sampath is a gifted author and it is wonderful to see how well readers have engaged with his books. We are extremely excited to have signed up Vikram for three new books that will offer important new insights into Indian history.’
About the author
Dr Vikram Sampath is a Bangalore-based historian and the author of four acclaimed works of non-fiction, including the national bestseller Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past. Vikram’s work on Gauhar Jaan won him Sahitya Akademi’s first Yuva Puraskar for English literature in 2012 and the ARSC International Award for Excellence in Historical Research in New York in 2011. A research fellow with numerous organizations and a visiting faculty at several universities in India and abroad, Vikram is also a musician, archivist, festival curator and a regular columnist with several dailies and news portals.