The Raj Quartet, Volume 1
The Jewel in the Crown
By Paul Scott
(University Of Chicago Press, Paperback, 9780226743400, 472pp.)
Publication Date: May 1998
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No set of novels so richly recreates the last days of India under British rule—"two nations locked in an imperial embrace"—as Paul Scott's historical tour de force, The Raj Quartet. The Jewel in the Crown opens in 1942 as the British fear both Japanese invasion and Indian demands for independence. On the night after the Indian Congress Party votes to support Ghandi, riots break out and an ambitious police sargeant arrests a young Indian for the alleged rape of the woman they both love.
Paul Scott (1920-78), born in London, held a commission in the Indian army during World War II. His many novels include Johnnie Sabib, The Chinese Love Pavilion, and Staying On.