The Jewel in the Crown

The Jewel in the Crown

A Novel

Large Print - 1985
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Publisher: Boston, Mass. : G.K. Hall, 1985, c1966
ISBN: 9780816138449
Characteristics: 729 p. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Scott, Paul 1920-1978 Raj quartet


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Sep 21, 2020

I was inclined to give up on this slow-paced novel at 50 pages - but because I'm interested in colonial India I pushed on to the dragged out 'reveal all' ending. Much of this romantic novel reads like a political science PhD thesis. The (late) author needed a good editor to pare down this plodding 518 page opus to a trim, engaging 250 pages. While much of the story takes place in 1942, why did the author refer twice to the BOAC passenger jet 'Comet" airplane that entered service in May 1952 only? I won't be reading the sequels.

Dec 13, 2016

What I find strange is that, although this item is catalogued as if it were just the first novel in the series of four ("The Raj Quartet"), and some of the other comments seem to agree with this, in fact, the volume the library holds and which one can borrow is indeed entitled "The Raj Quartet" and does in fact include all four novels, "The Jewel in the Crown," "The Day of the Scorpion", "The Towers of Silence" and "A Division of the Spoils." Perhaps this results from some puzzling confusion with the TV series, which, however abbreviated is its coverage, does include material from all four novels, under the title of the first of them.

Mar 06, 2016

This is such a wonderful story and so beautifully written. The BPL should really have all four of Paul Scott's 'The Raj Quartet'. It makes no sense if you cannot follow the story to the end.

Jan 23, 2015

This is the first of Scott's "Raj Quartet" series. The four books remind me of War and Peace: extremely well done historical fiction. I intend to read them all again sometime.

Mar 14, 2014

I found this a fascinating look at an intricate period in time as it explores not only the described chain of events but also the political and social views of the many characters. At times overwhelming but always interesting and educational, I found I had to concentrate intently on the material in order to keep things straight in my mind. The author writes beautifully, but often the length of his sentences made the reading difficult. This is the first book in the Raj Quartet and I found it to be colourful, layered and intense.


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Sep 21, 2020

Hindi is spare and beautiful. In it we can think thoughts that have the merit of simplicity and truth. And between each other convey these thoughts in correspondingly spare, simple, truthful images. English is not spare. But it is beautiful. It cannot be called truthful because its subtleties are infinite. It is the language of a people who have probably earned their reputation for perfidy and hypocrisy because their language itself is so flexible. … Written, it looks like a way of gaining time and winning confidence. But when it is spoken, English is rarely beautiful. Like Hindi, it is spare then , but crueller. We learned our English from books, and the English, knowing that books are one thing and life another, simply laughed at us. Still laugh at us. They laughed at me …. (p. 227)

Sep 21, 2020

The Kumars were landowners in a district of the United Provinces. They were rich by Indian standards and loyal to a foreign crown … but as a youth Duleep began to notice that … the callowest white-skinned boy doing his first year in the coveted civil service could snub them by keeping them waiting [outside] the sacred little bungalow from [which] wafted an air of effortless superiority. … Power, Duleep felt, lay not in money but in this magical combination of knowledge, manner, and race. … as a youth Duleep had acquired a good knowledge of [English] ... that he began to accompany his father on visits to petition the sub-divisional officer, and had the first intimations of the secrets hidden behind the bland face of the white authority. There grew in him a triple determination – to break away from a landlocked family tradition, to become a man who … granted favours, and to save [his younger sister] Shalini from ignorance and domestic tyranny … (p. 223, 225)

Sep 21, 2020

"But Kumar is another story, isn't he? ... Kumar told me about Colin Lindsey ... In England Colin Lindsay was Hari Kumar's closest friend. They went to the same school. Colin tried to get his parents to look after Hari when Hari's father died and Hari was forced to come back to India when he was not quite eighteen. With that Englishness. That English voice, that English manner, and English name, 'Harry Coomer'. Speaking no Indian language. An Englishman with a black skin who in Mayapore became what he called invisible to white people." (p. 168)


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Sep 22, 2020

It is 1942, the British colonial government has committed India to the war effort. But Indian nationalists are pressing for commitments to greater self-government. Two English women are assaulted during rioting around a rural town in northeastern India. The circumstances and the consequences are revealed in 6-8 linked vignettes and the correspondence of the principal characters.

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