SIGNED BY PAUL SCOTT
SCOTT, Paul. The Birds of Paradise. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1962. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $325.
First edition of the sixth novel by the author of the Raj Quartet, based on his experiences in India during World War II, signed by him on the title page.
"Having been called up as a private soldier on the outbreak of the Second World War, Scott found himself shipped out in 1943 as an officer cadet in the conscript army hastily assembled to repel the Japanese forces threatening to invade India after defeating the British in Burma the year before… Like many of his civilian contemporaries, he had been initially appalled by what he found on the subcontinent—by the heat, dust, poverty, disease, and overcrowding, above all by the imperial attitudes of the British—but over the next three years he fell deeply in love with India" (ODNB). The Birds of Paradise is the narrative of the son of a British political agent in one of the princely states of India before the war, who "never questioned for a moment that he would take up the task that occupied his father's life, that he too would live among princes"—but who is destined to live through a period of turbulent change and witness the end of the Raj.
Book fine, price-clipped dust jacket very nearly so. Scarce signed.