Skip to content

William Dalrymple


William Dalrymple is an award-winning writer and director of India’s Jaipur literary festival. He fell in love with India aged eighteen, and the country has been at the centre of his writing since.

His latest book, Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, is the last in what he calls the East India Company trilogy, following White Mughals and The Last Mughal.

It tells what happened when the British Governor-General of India was convinced to invade Afghanistan – in order to save India, ‘the jewel of the British empire’, from an imaginary Russian threat. Of course, this paved the path for subsequent wars … and sheds devastating light on the one being waged now.

Dalrymple has immersed himself in literature telling the Afghan side of the story; the result is, according to the Guardian, ‘a racy tale of imperial misadventure and Victorian jihadism’ that shows us ‘ourselves as others see us’.

William Dalrymple appears as part of a double-bill with Anita Desai. Book your discounted tickets to both sessions here.


William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple is one of Britain’s greatest historians and the author of the classic In Xanadu, the Wolfson Prize-winning White Mughals and the Hemingway Prize-winning Return of a King. A master of microhistories, William Dalrymple has turned his hand for the first time to macro-history in The ... Read more


Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

View our privacy policy
Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respect to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.