Behind Latticed Marble: Inner Worlds of Women

Paper Type: Book Print Paper | Size: 198mm x 127mm; 216pp
Black and white
ISBN-13: 978-93-91125-33-2


Based on an eyewitness account of life in royal harems, these stories describe the very human interaction between men and women in this milieu. They highlight power play, disinheritance and the threat of assault, which are perennial concerns for women.

This form of life existed throughout history in many parts of the world, including Asia, Africa and among the Aztecs and Incas in the Americas. It may still exist in some regions of the globe. In Europe, polygamy was prevalent among the Vikings. Among European royalty, although plural marriages did not exist, kings typically had mistresses. These fictional narratives, set in Rajasthan, create an elegant tapestry amidst the backdrop of Rajput grandeur and chivalry.

Jyotirmoyee  Devi  Sen
Jyotirmoyee Devi Sen

Jyotirmoyee Devi Sen was born in 1894, in the kingdom of Jaipur, during the time of the British Raj in India. Her grandfather, who had emigrated there from Bengal, rose to the position of dewan, or prime minister, to the Maharaja of Jaipur. The lives of the queens and concubines in the royal harems made a deep impression on her.

She married Kiran Chandra Sen of Guptipara, Bengal, who passed away during the influenza pandemic of 1918. Returning with her children to her parents’ home, she wrote under the pen name Jyotirmoyee Devi during her long widowhood. Jyotirmoyee Devi Sen is among the earlier women writers of modern Bengal, when most women were not allowed educational opportunities. She won the prestigious Rabindra Puraskar for Bengali writing and her work is part of the Women’s Studies curriculum at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Apala  G.  Egan
Apala G. Egan

Apala G. Egan grew up in India and currently lives in the US. She is fluent in Bengali and English and also speaks Hindi. A former community college instructor in the United States, she devotes her time to translating and writing. She has attended the Community of Writers Conference, formerly named ‘Community of Writers at Squaw Valley’, where she was awarded the Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston Scholarship.