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Set in Authority 

Set in Authority

Written by: Sara Jeannette Duncan
Edited by: Germaine Warkentin

Series: Broadview Editions

Publication Date: January 01, 1996
343pp • Paperback / PDF / ePub
ISBN: 9781551110806 / 1551110806

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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.


"This valuable edition locates Duncan's novel about the Anglo-Indian community at the height of the British Empire in its socio-political, historical context - one that foregrounds Duncan's frank and insightful evocation of the imperialist project in this and other novels." - Sukeshi Kamra, Chair, English Dept., Okanagan University College

Germaine Warkentin is a Professor of English at the University of Toronto. Her special fields are Renaissance and early Canadian literature. She is particularly interested in the literature of exploration; she has published widely in all these fields.

Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.

Table of Contents: [Back to Top]



Sara Jeannette Duncan: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

Set in Authority

Appendix A: Viceroys

Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews of Set in Authority

Select Bibliography

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Set in Authority

1996 • 343pp • Paperback • 9781551110806 / 1551110806

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.