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The Far Pavilions - M. M. [Mary Margaret] Kaye

Allen Lane, 1983, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Slight grubbines to the bottom corner of the text block. Bruised at the spine ends with a light, vertical, crease the length of the spine. Text complete, clean and tight.

From the cover: “This magnificent novel of princely Indian states and the British Corps of Guides, the guardians of the North-West Frontier, spans the quarter century from the Mutiny to the catastrophe of the Second Afghan War. In Paul Scott’s words, ‘Well, you know, it’s marvellous stuff. It had me on the edge of my seat. Her grasp of history, her knowledge of it are admirable. Her depiction of the Indian scene is in my view better than Kipling’s ever was.’

In a brilliantly devised plot, the whole of the action is centred upon Ashton Pelham-Martyn (known as Ash), the son of distinguished English parents both of whom die tragically after his birth in a remote camp in the Himalayas. He is brought up by his Indian ayah and as a child experiences the horrors of the Mutiny. After many adventures he is able to prove his identity as a young Sahib and is sent to relations in England to be educated. Later he returns to India as an ensign in the Guides, but he can never decide whether he is by inclination British of Indian, can never commit himself wholeheartedly to one side or the other. Interwoven with this is Ash’s romance and secret marriage and the effect it has upon his career as an officer. He becomes involved with spying for the Raj in Afghanistan and in the superb final pages of the novel is the helpless witness of the heroic defence of the Kabul Residency by his own regiment.

Exciting as Ash’s adventures are, the historical background and many of the characters are true. Much of the astonishing detail is drawn from diaries and journals in the possession of the author’s family. ‘The far pavilions’ — a distant view of the snow-capped Himalayas — brood serenely like gods over the tumultuous sweep of events. Imbued with all that the author throughout her life has known and felt and loved about India and its people, this is as Paul Scott wrote ‘a great romantic adventure novel’.”


Jacket designed by Peter Goodfellow. Size: 9½" x 6¼". Green boards with Blue titling to the Spine. 959 pages.
£15.30

This one has already found a new owner.