What to Read After… Look Up! 20/09/21
The Royal Rebel: The Life of Suffragette Princess Sophia Duleep Singh
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Set between 1884 and 1928, this short novel is based on the true story of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, daughter of the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab and goddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Sophia grows up in a lavish Suffolk mansion, yet her childhood is marred by her mother’s depression, her father’s bankruptcy and some devastating bereavements. She moves many times and even attempts to return to India, but Sophia struggles to call anywhere home. As an adult, the princess uses her privileged position to raise money and awareness for many worthy causes, most notably the women’s suffrage movement, where she campaigns tirelessly to help secure votes for British women.
This fascinating tale highlights a troubling period of British history in an accessible manner. It explores the appalling impact of British rule on India, as well as the brutal treatment faced by women in Britain who demanded equality.
The book has a dyslexia-friendly layout, with plenty of space around the text to minimise blurring, a special typeface which avoids confusing letter shapes and thick, tinted paper to ensure words don’t show through the pages and confuse the eye. Black-and-white illustrations border the bottom of each page, providing visual appeal.