Synopses & Reviews
Set in the elegant Edwardian world of Cambridge undergraduate life, this story by a master novelist introduces us to Maurice Hall when he is fourteen. We follow him through public school and Cambridge, and on into his father's firm, Hill and Hall, Stock Brokers. In a highly structured society, Maurice is a conventional young man in almost every way, "stepping into the niche that England had prepared for him": except that his is homosexual. Written during 1913 and 1914, immediately after Howards End, and not published until 1971, Maurice was ahead of its time in its theme and in its affirmation that love between men can be happy. "Happiness," Forster wrote, "is its keynote. In Maurice I tried to create a character who was completely unlike myself or what I supposed myself to be: someone handsome, healthy, bodily attractive, mentally torpid, not a bad businessman and rather a snob. Into this mixture I dropped an ingredient that puzzles him, wakes him up, torments him and finally saves him."
“The Birds of Paradise is a rare literary bird, a novel that in a short space recreates a man’s lifetime. Using exotic backgrounds, it manages to say something useful about growing up—a process that only children believe takes place mainly in childhood.”
“Extremely interesting. . . . Mr. Scotts montage is first-class. The book is beautifully composed.”
"The work of an exceptional artist working close to the peak of his powers." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt,
Paul Scott is most famous for his much-beloved tetralogy The Raj Quartet
, an epic that chronicles the end of the British rule in India with a cast of vividly and memorably drawn characters. Inspired by Scotts own time spent in India during World War II, this powerful novel provides valuable insight into how foreign lands changed the British who worked and fought in them, hated and loved them. A coming of age tale, The Birds of Paradise
is the story of a boy and his childhood friendship with the daughter of a British diplomat and the son of the Raja. Scott artfully brings his young narrators voice to life with evocative language and an eye for detail, capturing the pangs of childhood and the bittersweet fog of memory with nostalgic yet immediate prose
About the Author
Paul Scott (1920-78) was a British novelist best known for the tetralogy The Raj Quartet, published by the University of Chicago Press. Scott was drafted into the British Army during World War II and was stationed in India, an experience which shaped much of his literary work. The University of Chicago Press has also published his novels The Birds of Paradise, The Chinese Love Pavilion, Six Days in Marapore and Staying On, the latter of which won the Booker Prize for 1977.