The Raj Quartet (2004) Audio


Benedict plays officer Nigel Rowan in a story about India under British colonial rule.

The Raj Quartet is a dramatisation of the four novels by Paul Scott about India’s (also called British India or British Raj) last years under British colonial rule.

The four books and their content:

The Jewel in the Crown
1942. Britain fears a Japanese invasion and the Indian demands for independence. On the night after the Indian Congress Party has decided to support Ghandi, riots break out and an ambitious policeman takes a young indian into custody with the accusation of having raped a woman, who both men love.
The Day of the Scorpion
The arrest of Mohammed Ali Kasim, who sympathizes with the known Quit India Movement, by the British police means an impairment of the Anglo-Indian relations.
For families like the Laytons, which have lived in India for generations, the immediate social and political realities are disturbing and tragic. With increasing confusion and perplexity, the British are now forced to counter the violence and brutal years to follow.
The Towers of Silence
The third book follows the fate of the Layton family and a retired missionary, Barbara Batchelor, who witnesses the connections of human dramas: the love between Daphne Manner and Hari Kumar, the desperate sadness of an old teacher and the cruelty of Captain Ronald Merrick.
A Division of the Spoils
The last book shows the divided loyalties of the British, when they flee, retreat, or cling to India, in the presence of the violent partition of India and Pakistan.


The Raj Quartet was aired in 9 episodes, whose names come from the book titles, from 10 April to 05 June 2005 on BBC Radio. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Nigel Rowan, an officer in public service.


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