An Indian-origin author Sharbani Basu’s book on Queen Victoria's relationship with her trusted Indian aide Abdul Karim in the late 1800s would soon be made into a film in which Oscar-winning British actress Judi Dench will play the protagonist.
The Book “Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closet Confidant” was released nearly six years ago.
It captures the relationship between the British monarch and her trusted Indian aide Karim in the late 1800s. As the true story goes, Karim was just 24 when he went to England from Agra to wait at table during Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887. An assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, he suddenly found himself a personal attendant to the Empress of India herself. Within a year, he was established as a powerful figure at court, becoming the queen's teacher, or Munshi, and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs.
The book examines how a young Indian Muslim played a central role at the heart of the British Empire, and his influence over the queen at a time when independence movements in the sub-continent were growing in force. Yet, at its heart, it is a tender love story between an ordinary Indian and his elderly queen!
"I'm absolutely delighted that my book is in such safe hands. To have Dame Judi Dench play Victoria is absolutely perfect. With Stephen Frears directing and the screenplay by Lee Hall, it's a dream team," said Basu. The Indian-origin author Sharbani Basu is the London-based journalist and author of books like 'Spy Princess' and most recently 'For King and Another Country'.
Award-winning British filmmaker Frears, behind Helen Mirren starrer 'The Queen', will now transform the tale for celluloid with Oscar-winning Dench.
The film will mark the second time 81-year-old Dench is to play the historical figure after 'Mrs Brown' in 1997, for which she received an Oscar nomination.