The story of Raj Quartet begins in 1942. World War II is at its zenith, and in South East Asia, the allied forces have suffered great losses. Burma (now known as Myanmar) has fallen, and the Japanese invasion of the Indian subcontinent from the east appears imminent. The year 1942 is also marked by Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi’s call for the quit India movement to the British rulers of India. The Raj Quartet is set in this tumultuous background for the British soldiers and civilians stationed in India who have a duty to manage this part of the British Empire, known euphemistically as the jewel in the crown of the British Monarch.
The lead characters in the first novel, which sets the stage for the subsequent ones, are Daphne Manners, a young English woman who has recently arrived in India from England, and her British educated Indian lover, Hari Kumar. Ronald Merrick, a British police officer belonging to the Indian Police Service, is another main character.
The four volumes are:
Some of the characters are carried through to a further novel called