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Critical Context

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Scott gained his intimate knowledge of India through his experience as an officer cadet posted there in 1943 until the end of the war. He returned to England in 1946, and his early novels, such as Johnnie Sahib (1952) and The Birds of Paradise (1962), deal with Indian themes. Scott made several return trips to India in the late 1960’s to complete his research for the massive undertaking that The Raj Quartet would be. He wrote one other novel, Staying On (1977), a postscript on life in India following the dismissal of the British ruling class, after the final volume of the quartet. Paul Scott died in 1978, after winning the prestigious Booker Prize for Staying On.

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