The Chieftain’s Daughter: Durgeshnandini
By Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay
Published in Bengali 1867
Published in English translation by Random House India, 2010
From the jacket
The first novel in Indian literature.
Inspired by the historical romances of Sir Walter Scott, Bankim Chandra’s first Bengali novel is a story of love set amidst the war between the Pathans and the Mughal emperor Akbar in the sixteenth century. Dashing young Jagat is sent by his father, Mughal general Mansingh, to quell the Pathan uprising in Bengal. There he falls in love with Tilottama, the alluring daughter of the chieftain Birendra Singh only to discover – too late – the bitter rivalry between their two families.
Stirring and colourful, Durgeshnandini (1865) created a sensation among Bengali readers with its vigorous storytelling and its bold portrayal of romantic love. it is regarded as the first novel in Indian literature.