Set in Authority
In 1906, two years after the appearance of her best-known novel, The Imperialist, Duncan published its darker twin, an Anglo-Indian novel which returns to political themes but with a deeper and more clinical irony than in her previous work. Set in Authority is about illusions: the imperial illusions of those who rule and are ruled; the illusions of families about their members; the illusions of men and women about each other. The setting moves between the political drawing rooms of London and the English station at Pilaghur in the province of Ghoom, where the murder of a native by an English soldier changes the lives of a cast of ruthlessly observed characters. Duncan, who grew up in Ontario, led a remarkably varied life, working as a political correspondent (writing for the Washington Post, the Toronto Globe and the Montreal Star) and living in India for over twenty years. She is increasingly being regarded as deserving of a place among the first rank of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century novelists; the re-publication of Set in Authority will do nothing to dispel that view.
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Set in Authority
Contemporary Reviews of Set in Authority
Variants in the 1906 New York Edition
A. P. Watt afraid Anglo-Indian Anthony asked ayah Barfordshires Bengal Biscuit Brantford British Calcutta CHAPTER Charles Cox Chief Commissioner Club Colonel Vetchley course Court Cousin Cinderella dear Devine Egerton Faulkner Eliot Arden England English Everard Cotes eyes feeling fellow Frayley Sambourne Ghoom Gobind Government Guzeratis hand hanged heart Henry Morgan Herbert Hiria honour hope husband Imperial Imperialist India justice Kelly Kemp Lady Thame Lavinia Lawrence Lenox Lemon letter London looked Lord Curzon Lord Thame married matter ment Miss Pearce Miss Tring miss-sahib mother native never novel novelist perhaps person Pilaghur regiment Ruth Pearce Sannaway Sara Jeannette Duncan seemed sentence Set in Authority Simla Sir Ahmed Hossein smile Social Departure soldier story talk tell thing thought tion told Tring Viceroy of India Viceroy's Victoria Watt Papers wife woman writing young