Akbar’s Dream: The Mughal Emperor in Nineteenth-Century Literature

In: Regimes of Comparatism
Author: Phiroze Vasunia

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Abstract:  “The Emperor Akbar”, writes Friedrich Max Müller, “may be considered the first who ventured on a comparative study of the religions of the world”. Akbar’s religious innovation is the subject of several treatments in the nineteenth century, in England and India. Tennyson, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, and Ghalib are, along with Max Müller, a few of the intellectuals who write about the Mughal Emperor and his religious comparatism. This paper explores the reception of Akbar in nineteenth-century colonial contexts and looks in particular at the interest in the emperor’s comparatism.