Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum – ‘Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim’ – 12th April

Shrabani Basu’s – ‘Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim’

Wednesday 12th April 7pm


Queen Victoria remained the face of the British empire’s rule in India. Spoken about but never seen in the subcontinent and a ruler from afar, she seemed to epitomise the hauteur of colonial rule. However, one book lay bare her warm and compassionate side, often seen in the company of an Indian attendant, Abdul Karim. Shrabani Basu’s 2010 book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant is a rare insight into a little-known and yet beautiful relationship. The non-fiction book is being adapted to the screen by renowned British filmmaker Stephen Frears. The legendary Judi Dench plays Victoria, while Indian actor Ali Fazal is playing Karim. The movie will be released in 2017.

When Karim was sent to Britain as a “gift” to the British monarchy, little did anyone know that it would be the beginning of an extraordinary bond. Basu’s effort chronicles the companionship shared by Victoria with her “Dear Munshi” and the many attempts made by the royal family to subvert the relationship. Basu, who has previously written Spy PrincessThe Life of Noor Hayat Khan, Curry, and For King and Another Country,  is visiting SOFO with her talk on the book.

Tickets £10, available from:

SOFO Museum Reception

Tel: 01993 810211