From jacket flap:
635 princes rule 2/5s of India and a quarter of its population. Many are absolute monarchs linked only by treaty with the British Crown. Vitally important to modern India and to the Empire, they have played a great part, both in peace and war.
This book, the first of its kind, tells of life in the Royal States, but life in village and factory, among merchants, labourers, money-lenders, artisans and gypsies as well as in the palaces of beneficient autocrats…Rosita Forbes records the points of view of Princes, peasants and patriots, of revolutionaries and priests, the rigidly conservative, the progressive and the experimental. She tells also of the romantic legends, the centuries of war, the heroism and savagery, equally dramatic, which have transformed into descendants of the Sun, Moon and Fire or heirs of the disintegrated Moghul Empire into Statesment concerned with the position of their countries under Federation.