About the Book :
Princess Gul-Badan Begam witnessed the reign of the three Mughal emperors: her father Babur's, her brother Humayun's and her nephew Akbar's. Perhaps this explains Akbar's choice of Gul-Badan, the only woman, along with Jauhar and Bayazid ewer-bearer and steward of Humayun when he ordered these three to 'write down what ever you know of the doings of Firdaus-Makani and Jannat-ashyani', i.e. Babur and Humayun. Akbar wanted to help his friend Abu'l Fazl gather materials for his Akbar-nama, hence this order. Gul-Badan's efforts culminated in Humayun-nama. Her mother-of-fact style did not hesitate to copy verbatim parts of her work without acknowledgement. For this reason, only three copies were made of her book, out of which only one survived and reached the British Museum. Here Annette S. Beveridge, chanced upon this almost unknown work and published its translation in 1900. When she wrote this Humayun-nama, Gul-Badan was more than sixty years old. Also she had to depend mainly on her memory. As such her facts occasionally do not tally and dated are jumbled. Her interest was people and not events. So her chronicle is highly successful in conjuring up visions, for the reader, of feelings, emotions, quarrels and reconciliation of a group of men and women. As a source-book this book is of great use to historians. The notes and biographical sketches of the ladies in the royal harem of Babar and Humayun furnished by the translator adds a touch of fascination to this book and makes it a remarkable memoir of a Mughal princess for the other readers.