Part memoir, part historical novel, this is the life of an extravagant Nepalese king, a contemporary of Louis XIV. An extraordinary monarch, poet, magician, warrior, great builder and seducer, his life is a veritable Himalayan epic in which Éric Chazot draws us in with the talent of a storyteller and the precision of a great scholar of Himalayan art.
Pratap Malla (1624-1674) ruled Kathmandu during the kingdom?s golden age. An ambitious monarch, he never ceased to wage war against neighbouring cities. He distinguished himself not only in battle, but also in the arts and the cult of love, proclaiming himself Kavindra, "king of poets". With a wealth of literary works ranging from poems to plays, he was the creator of fascinating masked dances and a follower of tantrism and its rites. He boasted of having seduced and honoured 30,000 women.
By immersing us in the life of this peerless sovereign, Éric Chazot defies commonplace and reveals that Eastern monarchs less well known than the Sun King deserve equal celebrity.
Éric Chazot is an explorer, historian and ethnologist, and is regarded as one of the leading specialists in Nepalese art. He has been criss-crossing India, the Middle East and the Himalayas since the 1970s. He lived in Nepal from 1975 to 1988, and now visits several times a year. He was one of the first Westerners to discover the world of tribal arts in Nepal, whose language he speaks,
Éric Chazot was also a pioneer and initiator of this culture in Europe.
In the pure tradition of travel writers, he is the author of seminal works on Himalayan sculpture, masks and legends, published both in France and in Kathmandu, where he has become an almost mythical figure in the eyes of Nepalese and Western travellers alike.
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