In the India of 1942, two rapes take place simultaneously - that of an English girl in Mayapore, and that of India by the British. In each, physical violence, racial animosity, the coercion of the weak by the strong all play their part, but playing a part too are love, affection, loyalty, and recognition that the last division of all to be overcome is the colour of the skin. The whole spectrum of Anglo-Indian relations is vividly evoked in a brilliant assessment of emotions, personal clashes and historical reasons that eventually prised India - the jewel in the Imperial Crown - from its setting.
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