Oxford University Press (OUP) on Thursday launched publication of ‘Kohinoor - The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond’ written by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand.

The book was launched at National Library of Pakistan while both the authors William Dalrymple and Anita Anand accompanied by OUP Pakistan MD Ameena Saiyid expressed their views on this occasion.

Using previous versions in Sanskrit, Persian, and Urdu sources, and the discoveries of modern gemmologists to reconstruct its original form, the book traces the history and unravels the mystery surrounding the world’s most famous diamond.

Kohinoor is a tale of greed, conquest, murder, torture, colonialism, and appropriation.

Revealing previously unknown moments in the diamond’s history, the story sweeps from the century the Koh-i-Noor spent embedded in the Mughals’ fabulous peacock throne to the years it languished unrecognised on a mullah’s desk, used as a paperweight, through to the torture chamber in an attempt to extract the truth about the gem’s hiding place.

The author William Dalrymple, on this occasion, tells the sweep of the early history of the Kohinoor as referenced in ancient Indian texts, through its sightings during Mughal times, to its seizure by Nader Shah, and its possession by Ranjit Singh.

Continuing with the journey of the prized gem, Anita Anand gave an account of how the diamond was taken from the Sikh court and passed to the British Crown.

William Dalrymple is an acclaimed historian and bestselling author whose books include City of Djinns, White Mughals, The Last Mughal, Nine Lives, and Return of a King.

His many awards included the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Wolfson Prize for History, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Hemingway Prize, and the Vodafone/Crossword Award for non-fiction.

Anita Anand has been a radio and television journalist in Britain for over 20 years, presenting major programs on BBC. Her first book, ‘Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary,’ is a highly-acclaimed biography of the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh.

Earlier in her welcome address, Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, OUP Pakistan, introduced the authors and said that the book is the story of a fascinating gem, accused of bringing misfortune to its owners, yet exalted by them and coveted by their rivals.

“Its two contemporary authors seem fascinated by the subcontinent’s past, and the gem Kohinoor reflects this convergence of the present and the past as both India and Pakistan, along with Afghanistan, have laid claim to the diamond as their own,” she added.