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The Raj Quartet
by Paul Scott
ISBN 0688030653 / 9780688030650 / 0-688-03065-3
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Series of four novels by Paul Scott. The tetralogy, composed of The Jewel in the Crown (1966), The Day of the Scorpion (1968), The Towers of Silence (1971), and A Division of the Spoils (1975), is set in India during the years leading up to that country's independence from the British raj (sovereignty). The story examines the role of the British in India and the effect of their presence in the country during its struggle for independence. The four novels taken as a whole present a complex portrait of both ruling British and Indian society and the relationship between the two. One of the central incidents of the story is the rape of an Englishwoman, and one of the main characters is the Indian Hari Kumar, who is accused of having participated in the rape. Reared in England where he received an upper-class education, Kumar finds that he is too British to be an Indian but at the same time is excluded from British society because of his race. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature [via]