Scott, Paul - The Raj Quartet: The Jewel in the Crown, The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence, A Division of the Spoils - ( Item 130286 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2009. First Thus. 4 Fine Hardbacks. No inscriptions or bookplates. Near Fine slipcase. Slight marks to panels of slipcase. This edition includes an introductory essay by Paul Scott never before published with 'The Raj Quartet'. 4 volumes bound in cloth, printed and blocked with individual designs by Finn Campbell-Notman. The definitive literary portrait of the final years of British India. India, August 1942. A young British woman, Daphne Manners, is raped in the Bibighar Gardens in Mayapore. The investigation is led by Ronald Merrick, an unscrupulous officer whose distaste for the Indian population is matched only by his disdain for the British governing class. With the Japanese threatening invasion and Gandhi demanding independence, British rule has never seemed more precarious, and the tensions that explode at Mayapore reflect the seething political turmoil of India itself. Scott himself acknowledged that in 'The Raj Quartet' he was revisiting the territory explored by E. M. Forster in A Passage to India, but Scott's magnum opus has even been described as an Anglo-Indian War and Peace thanks to its epic sweep and complex narrative. A masterpiece that stands apart as one of the greatest literary explorations of the end of the British Empire, 'The Raj Quartet' addresses far more than a fading imperial dream, or even the impossibility of achieving what Daphne's great-aunt memorably calls a 'civilised divorce' between ruler and ruled. Unsparing in its depictions of personal drama and conflict, but often punctuated with humour and wonderful evocations of the immense Indian landscape, it is a study of human relationships, of the ramifications of action and the consequences of inaction, indifference, misunderstanding or simple ignorance.
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