“The filaments that enmeshed them in Durbar Court were the stories they wove. Leila, who never contributed any herself, claimed that without them the resident behemoths would fall permanently asleep. It was a soporific summer. An extraordinary summer, as if the mechanism of the seasons had broken down, stranding them in a time locked vault of cloudless blue. The garden parasols were giant sundials around which carousels of shadow clocked the intervals from breakfast to supper. Only the bearers punctuated the hours, padding out to them with trays of lemon cordial and iced tea.”

This second novel by Peter Moss, whose first, The Singing Tree, was described by the New York Times as ‘a little gem’, draws heavily upon his memories of an Indian childhood to populate a recreated cameo of imperial India, set on the south coast of England. Here relics of the British Raj, living out their sequestered lives immersed in nostalgia for a long lost world, lead a casual visitor to confront memories he has desperately endeavoured to erase.

The Age of Elephants
ISBN 0-595-39596-1
Now available from:
iUniverse Publications.

From the Kirkus Review:

A graceful, elaborate and dizzying tale of innocents yearning for home.

Moss has been a firsthand witness to the fading glory of the British diaspora in exotic locales like India, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Here, he draws heavily on a childhood spent in India to recreate the experiences of expatriates repatriated against their will, caught between a glorious spiritual home and the draw of Queen and country. Durbar Court, a “rambling, colonnaded bungalow built on palatial proportions and set on a rise backed by a shallow valley,” was built by the now-deceased Gwyn Jones as both a tribute to his beloved India and a refuge from the encroaching civilization of England. Run with both strength and self-doubt by his widow, Dolly, it has become home to a ragtag collection of extended family, Indian exiles and other odd characters. When Tom Swain, a copywriter with ghosts of his own, is driven into the estate by a couple of wild peacocks, it changes his life forever, forcing him to choose between a life lived in memory or in reality. Moss packs the narrative with far too many characters to follow: The vivacious Dolly, Tom’s paramour Clare Truscott and an intense Indian intellectual named Ravi Shapoor are among the most compelling of this motley crew, but gaggles of unruly children, lunatic relatives and quirky servants muddle the story. Despite the heavy character traffic, however, the author’s prose is classical, elegant and oddly moving in the manner of Isak Dinesen or E.M. Forster. Moss fosters a charming colonial memory that will speak clearly to anyone who’s been away from home a long time.

A romanticized, tragic remembrance of well-loved experiences.

To view the actual review go to:

The Age of Elephants - an interesting review by Solveig Bang

About Peter Moss:

Peter Moss, of Anglo-Indian heritage, is a prolific and very successful author of international repute. Visit his imaginatively designed and informative home page at:

Author of Bye Bye Blackbird (An Anglo-Indian Memoir), Distant Archipelagos (Memories of Malaysia) and The Singing Tree (a novel set in the Amazon), Peter Moss saw himself as an imperial by-product long before the Queen bestowed on him Membership of the British Empire for his services in Hong Kong, where he still lives and writes. No Babylon (A Hong Kong Scrapbook), Peter's third book of autobiography, is about his years in Hong Kong and made its appearance in January 2006. He now intends to catch up with other books he has been commissioned to write, including a biography of the China Coast artist George Chinnery. Most of his earlier works can be found at

Bye Bye Blackbird is available through iUniverse Publications on line.
iUniverse price: US$19.95
Published: Mar 2004

Distant Archipelagos is now also available at iUniverse Publications
iUniverse price US$21.95
Published: August 2004

No Babylon can be obtained from the same publishers, at:
iUniverse price US$22.95
Published: Jan 2006

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