A Caravan from Hindustan
A Caravan from Hindustan
The Complete Birbal Tales from the Oral Traditions of India
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For five centuries, Birbal has been one of the best-loved figures in the folklore of India. Polished like gemstones in the river of time, The Birbal Tales’ wit and insight have delighted children and grownups from Kerala to Kashmir. Now the complete collection comes to the West, after years of loving research and creative, and historically accurate, restoration.

Moseley’s Birbal Tales have won The National Writers Club First Prize for Fiction and the University of Southern Louisiana’s First Prize for Juvenile Fiction. This timeless classic is a wonderful gift for children and a treasury of humor and wisdom for adults.


“Absolutely beautiful. I can see why you have a devoted following.”
- Duval Y. Hecht, President, BOOKS ON TAPE, INC.

“I have read Moseley's Birbal Tales and must say I was utterly enchanted. The stories are beautifully retold in a style that is not only charming in English but could have come straight from a collection of Persian tales at the Mughal court. Moseley has certainly captured the fantasy court world in which stories of this type are usually cast. He continues in the finest tradition of the Mughal qissagu (storyteller). I trust he will offer more volumes in this collection to the undoubted delight of his readers.”
- Wheeler M. Thackston, Professor of the Practice in Persian and Other Near Eastern Languages, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

- Swapna Vora, Editor, INDIAN EXPRESS, North American Edition

“At a time when thousands of intellectuals and professionals are migrating from India to the USA in search of wealth, Moseley has traveled to India to collect priceless gems from her immortal tradition and folk wisdom. Devoid of any high-sounding Brahmanic dogma, these tales have entertained and taught people of all levels for hundreds of years. Rendered again in the most lucid style, reading these tales is like reliving one's childhood. The book will fill the void for Indians now living in Diaspora and will give a new dimension of India to its Western readers.”
- Ved Prakash Vatuk, D. Litt, Director FOLKLORE INSTITUTE, Berkeley & Former Professor of Folklore, UC Berkeley

“It is so rare to have a book that will charm children, please adult readers, satisfy curiosity about foreign folk tales, and inform any reader regarding a different culture. But here is a book that does it all.”

“James Moseley’s collection of Birbal Tales capture the wit and wisdom of the famous Indian courtier while maintaining the simple poetry of those told orally for generations across India.”
- Maryann Mahajan, INDIA POST.COM

“Moseley’s…prose evokes the magical world of Akbar’s court…in witty, charming stories, which are still popular with children in India. Historical notes are appended.”

“There are so many wonderful books for very young children, but there is too little good literature for “middlings” from age seven to eleven. This book, which adults can enjoy as well as children, brings praises from a Harvard Professor to a Hollywood Producer. Interestingly, although the tales are indeed charming and amusing, they are not fictional, but true stories of a wise man who really lived in long ago India in the palace of the Emperor Akbar. Birbal served his Emperor with wit and wisdom, and he became so renowned that even today parents and grandparents use these clever adventures as morality tales.”
- IndoLink.com

“This book is very promising.”
- Vandana Kumar, Editor, INDIA CURRENTS MAGAZINE, California

“Traveling throughout India for many years, the author collected many tales from the oral tradition surrounding the 14th-century Great Mughal Emperor, Akbar, and his wise advisor, the commoner Birbal. These short sto
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Jim Moseley lived in India, traveling widely, studying its literature, history, and religions - and collecting Birbal Tales wherever he went. He is the author of The Ninth Jewel of the Mughal Crown and The Mystery of Herbs and Spices. He has written and illustrated for major periodicals like Newsday and the Los Angeles Times. His screenplay for Gorky Studios’ Father Frost, won the Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence for Best Family Screenplay. Moseley graduated from Hampshire College, Amherst and attended Keble College, Oxford and the University of Miami. He lives with his wife and four children in California.

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