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Paul Scott Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Raj Quartet Books

The Jewel in the Crown (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Day of the Scorpion (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Towers of Silence (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Division of the Spoils (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Johnnie Sahib (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Six Days in Marapore (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Alien Sky (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Male Child (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Love Pavilion (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Birds of Paradise (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bender (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Corrida at San Feliu (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Staying On (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mark of the Warrior (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
After the Funeral (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Making of the Jewel in the Crown (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Appointment with the Muse: Essays, 1961-75 (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Writing and the Novel: Essays (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behind Paul Scott's Raj Quartet: A Life in Letters: Volume I: The Early Years: 1940-1965 (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behind Paul Scott's Raj Quartet: A Life in Letters: Volume II: The Quartet and Beyond: 1966-1978 (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Paul Scott

Paul Scott was a historical fiction author born in 1920. The London-born author joined the army barely out of his teenage and served his country between 1940 and 1946. Scott spent most of his time in India, which explains why he is knowledgeable about this part of the world. After leaving the army, Scott turned his efforts into writing. He stood out for his detailed descriptions, writing style, and flawless narration. Scott is mostly known for the famous Raj Quartet series. His book, Staying On, won the Booker Prize in 1977, just a few months before he died in 1978.

The Jewel in the Crown

The Jewel in the Crown is the first book in The Raj Quartet series. Throughout this novel, the author recreates the final days of British rule over India. The book opens in 1942, smack in the middle of the second world war. Gandhi’s ultimatum has been delivered. The message is clear- the British must Quit India. The wind of change is blowing hard throughout the country, and the tensions everywhere are hard to miss. However, when Indians rape a young British woman, everything changes. The country is thrown into chaos, and no one would have been prepared for the devastation that follows. This rape case, dubbed The Bibighar Incident, marks the beginning of the fall of British rule.

The ending of the British rule is told through the private lives of a few individuals. There is Daphne Manners, a clumsy, big-boned girl without the charms expected from an English girl. Then there is Hari Kumar, an Indian boy who spoke English better than a native. Next is Merrick, a policeman who cannot shut up about his social standing. Love and hate bind these three characters until everything erupts in what is known as Bibighar gardens. As the story unravels and we see the happenings through different characters, the mystery behind the main event is revealed.

This book paints a model picture of the relationship between Britain and India. The contrast of light and darkness is painted using metaphors that make it easy to see the racial tensions when Indians wanted nothing but their independence. Even with all that is happening, the beauty of India shines through the pages. The author also touches on the caste system and the barriers this brought among the citizens.

Through the detailed descriptions, you can smell the spices, odors of decay and feel the determination of those ravaged by poverty and the wretchedness that comes with it.

The Jewel in the Crown is a story about the past and future of India. What opens as a rape case of an English woman by the Indians turns into a detailed account of the end of British rule. The author has broken the novel into different sections, each giving a varying perspective of events leading to the rape. You will enjoy meeting the characters, all with their strengths, struggles, and flaws. At the heart of this narrative is division, brought about by race, religion, and color. The author also explores the issues of identity conflicts, forbidden love, and self-discovery. It is hard to tell in words how deep and far-reaching this novel is. The relationships are complex, the story extremely absorbing, and the writing exquisite.

The Day of the Scorpion

The Day of the Scorpion comes second in the Raj Quartet series. In this book, the Indians are still pushing for their freedom. Nothing, even the imprisonment and brutal repression of their leaders, can stop them. In other parts of the world, the second world war is coming to a close, but things are still heated up in the Indian subcontinent. Like a scorpion surrounded by fire stings itself, the British raj quickens their destruction as the flames of independence from the Indians become unbearable. In this chaos, the British who had inhabited the land have to find a way back home away from all the madness.

It is amazing meeting characters from the previous installment in this book. The author also introduces new ones, which makes the story even more intriguing. Through the Cast, we get to see people’s inner feelings from both sides of the divide. The British still in India are having a rough time. Sarah Layton outlines these struggles so well. Through her, we get to see the roles and responsibilities of the foreigners in the prevailing chaos. Layton’s perspectives are so gripping that they will keep you glued to the pages. In 1945, India finally got her independence, and the hard work of handing over power begins. What happens to the friendships that had gone past race and language barriers?

The author’s skills show in the story’s depth and the way the characters are tied together. Some scenes are so moving they will leave you breathless. At times, it will feel like you are right there with the characters, experiencing the prejudices and insecurities firsthand. If you are curious to know what happened to Hari Kumar, you will get some of the answers in this book. Ronald Merrick continues to shine as an antagonist with a deeply corrupted soul. The writing is dense, so do not be surprised if you take pauses as you try to grasp all this talented author has to offer.

The Day of the Scorpion follows the first volume in the series. Its power, flow, and historical insight is similar to that of its predecessor and make the novel informative and captivating. It is amazing how the author manages to tell a tale of the whole of India through a handful of characters. People of different colors, races, and classes expose them all and let us into their lives. After ruling India for about 200 years, it is easy to understand why the transfer of power was difficult. It is sad that the British thought of Indians as inferior, but when their time was up, it was time for the natives to take their rightful place in the country.

Paul Scott was a popular English author, playwright, poet, and novelist. He was particularly well known for his successful tetralogy series called The Raj Quartet. Paul’s popularity can also be judged by the fact that he was a Booker Prize winner, which he won in 1977 for his book called Staying On. The author was born on March 25, 1920, in Palmers Green, Southgate, London. He was the younger of the 2 sons born to his parents, Thomas and Frances. Thomas was a commercial artist from Yorkshire, who had relocated to London in the early 1920s, while Frances was involved in social and artistic indulgences.

In the later years of his life, Paul differentiated from the down-to-earth practicality of his father and the creative drive of his mother. He received his early education at Winchmore Hill Collegiate School. But, Paul could not complete his graduation as he was forced to leave when he was 14 years old because of the financial difficulties of his dad’s business. After that, Paul started working at C.T. Payne as a clerk. He used to take book-keeping classes in the evening. At around the same time, he also began writing poetry in his free time. Paul was very young when he understood suburban London’s rigid social divisions. He found that there was an instinctive familiarity during his visit to British India, where he came across the interactions of class and caste in the imperial colony.

In 1940, Paul became a private in the British Army and was included in the Intelligence Corps. A year later, he came across his future wife Penny in Torquay, who was born as Nancy Edith Avery. After their marriage, she also established herself as a novelist. The couple had 2 daughters, Sally and Carol. Paul was commissioned to India in 1943 on the post of an officer cadet. By the time war came to an end, he had risen to the rank of Indian Army Service Corps’ captain. Paul had played an important role in organizing the logistic help for the reconquest of Myanmar (Burma) by the 14th Army from the Japanese forces. Initially, Paul was appalled by the heat, dust, disease, and poverty in India and the Britishers’ attitudes. But later, he fell in love with the country deeply, which is evident from his popular novels that are set there.

Following the demobilization of the British Army from India in 1946, Paul received employment at 2 small publishing houses, Grey Walls Press and Falcon Press, both of which were owned by Peter Baker. In 1950, he joined the literary agency of Pearn, Pollinger, & Higham, thereby becoming a director. During his tenure as the director, Paul was able to cover some of the noteworthy authors of that time, including Elizabeth Mervyn, Muriel Spark, Arthur C. Clarke, M.M. Kaye, and Morris West. The author had released several religious poems in 1941, however, his writing career started in the real sense in 1952 with the publishing of his debut novel called Johnny Sahib.

The novel was rejected by 17 publishers before going on to earn moderate success. Paul continued working for the literary agency to earn a steady means of livelihood and support his family. In the meantime, he kept writing and publishing on the sides. After coming up with several titles during the 1950s, Paul penned a couple of BBC radio plays, Sahibs & Memsahibs and Lines of Communication. All of his earlier novels were received respectfully. Despite having moderate sales of his books, Paul decided to take up the role of a full-time writer in 1960, thereby taking a huge risk. His novels often draw on his personal experiences of India and his armed forces service. They also contain strong subtexts of discrimination based on class, caste, race as well as uneasy relationships.

In 1964, Paul undertook a trip to India to meet some old friends. He made some new acquaintances in the independent country and refreshed himself with the place the kept him obsessed throughout his life. When he served in the army in India, Paul had acquired amoebic dysentery, which affected his digestion badly. He had become addicted to alcohol as it provided him relief. Later, Paul had to undergo treatment in London and was cured completely. Paul began writing The Jewel in the Crown, the first book in The Raj Quartet, in 1964. He published it in 1966 to moderate success and popularity. Over the course of the next 9 years, Paul wrote and published three sequel novels. Paul used to isolate himself completely while writing this series. He visited India two more times in 1968 and 1971.

Throughout the course of writing the series, the author was supported by his wife Penny. She stood by his side with determination despite his violent behavior at times and heavy drinking. But, following the completion of the series, Penny left Paul and finalized a divorce. After that, Paul was forced to reassess his life and began teaching at Tulsa University in Oklahoma as a visiting faculty. Soon after the release of Staying On in 1977, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Paul eventually died on March 1, 1978, at a hospital in Middlesex. Staying On was adapted into a TV film by Granada Television in 1980. Its success motivated the production company to adapt Paul’s The Raj Quartet into a 14-part Tv series, which had the same title as the first novel of the book series.

In The Jewel in the Crown, Paul has described the lead characters in the form of Hari Kumar, Daphne Manners, and Ronald Merrick. Hari Kumar is shown as a young man educated at an English public school. He has liberal views and is very enthusiastic about life. Ronald Merrick is depicted as a man who studied at a grammar school and is employed as a police superintendent. Hari and Merrick have a confrontation at the story’s beginning. Although Merrick hates Hari Kumar, he is also attracted to him and wants to destroy him. Daphne Manners, an English girl courted by Ronald Merrick, loves Hari Kumar. When she gets raped, Merrick blames Hari Kumar and this is when the enmity between the two starts.

The critics loved the character depictions of Ronald Merrick and Hari Kumar. They praised them highly and also gave good reviews to the book. Paul was motivated by the good reviews and went on with his exploration of India to write the next three books of the tetralogy. The next book to follow in the series was The Day of the Scorpion. It takes place during the Second World War and revolves around an old family of the British Raj, the Laytons. It also deals with the Mayapore incident, the happenings in a princely state called Mirat, and an Indian politician named Mohammad Ali Kasim.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Paul Scott

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