Paul Mark Scott
(March 25, 1920 in Southgate
- March 1, 1978 in London) was a British
novelist, playwright, and poet, best known for his monumental tetralogy
the Raj Quartet.
His novel Staying On
won the Booker Prize
Paul Scott was born in Southgate
, the younger of two sons. His father, Thomas (1870–1958), was a Yorkshireman
who moved to London in the 1920s and was a commercial artist
specialising in furs and lingerie. His mother, Frances, née Mark (1886–1969) was the daughter of a labourer from south London, socially inferior to her husband but with artistic and social ambitions. In later life Scott differentiated between his mother’s creative drive and his father’s down-to-earth practicality.
He was educated at Winchmore Hill Collegiate School (a private school
) but was forced to leave suddenly, and without any qualifications, when aged 14, as his father’s business was in severe financial difficulties. He worked as an accounts clerk for C. T. Payne and took evening classes in bookkeeping
, but started writing poetry in his spare time. It was in this environment that he came to understand the rigid social divisions
of suburban London, so that when he went to British India
he had an instinctive familiarity with the interactions of caste and class in an imperial colony.
Scott was conscripted
into the British Army
as a private
early in 1940 and assigned to the Intelligence Corps
. He met and married his wife Penny... Read More