New Delhi | "Aryans: The Search for a People, a Place and a Myth", the last book by late British historian Charles Allen, will hit the stands on November 15, announced publishing house Hachette India on Wednesday.
Touted to be a definitive account of the Aryans, the book, offering a grand sweep of "language, mythology, contested histories and conflict", will mark the end of Allen's illustrious career.
Allen, author of a number of bestselling books about India -- including "Plain Tales from the Raj", "Kipling Sahib", "Ashoka" and "Coromandel" -- died of cancer in 2020. He was 80.
A traveller, historian and master storyteller, Charles drew on detailed research and his work is known to be a testament to a life spent uncovering the stories of the land of his birth.
He left "Aryans", close to completion, with his friend and author David Loyn, who has edited the book.
"Charles loved and respected India, the land of his birth, writing more than 20 books about its history. Aryans is the crowning achievement of this career, and he and I had been talking about the idea for some years before his final illness.
"Before he died I agreed that I would edit the manuscript, which has been a great privilege," said Loyn, author of "The Long War: the Inside Story of America and Afghanistan since 9/11", in a statement.
Spanning continents, cultures and societies -- from the Russian steppe to the Indus valley, the Iliad to the Mahabharata, Greek to Sanskrit, Putin to Trump, and Müller to Vivekananda -- the book, according to the publisher, "astonishes with its scope".
"Charles was an outstanding narrative historian and alongside his passion for what he wrote about had that rare gift – an effortless facility in writing excellent prose which made the pages come alive. It's sad that we won't be seeing more from him, but Hachette India is delighted to publish his last work – as always, the last word on the subject," Thomas Abraham, MD of Hachette India.
Allen's lasting legacy lies in a series of books about British involvement in India, and the people whose scholarship helped trace the past of the subcontinent and discovered the common root of Indian and European languages.