Paul Mark Scott (25 March 1920 in Southgate, then in Middlesex – 1 March 1978 in London) was an English novelist, playwright, and poet, best known for his monumental tetralogy the Raj Quartet. His novel Staying On won the Booker Prize for 1977.
Paul Scott was born in Palmers Green, 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 specializing in furs and lingerie. His mother, Frances, née Mark (1886–1969), the daughter of a labourer from south London, had 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 at the age of 14, without any qualifications, when his father’s business met financial difficulties. He worked as an accounts clerk for C. T. Payne and took evening classes in book-keeping, 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 felt an instinctive familiarity with the interactions of caste and class in an imperial colony...
Quotes by Paul Scott
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