Vestal Fire
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Vestal Fire

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  9 ratings  ·  2 reviews
For a short time before the First World War, Compton Mackenzie lived on Capri, "island of pleasure" as it has been called. The stay was fruitful, resulting in two "romans à clef," Vestal Fire and Extraordinary Women, published in 1927 and 1928 respectively. These see Compton Mackenzie at his satirical best. The island of Capri, in the early twentieth-century, was a remarka...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published January 1st 1975 by Chatto and Windus (first published 1927)
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Rachel Hope
Totally fascinated by Compton Mackenzie's barely disguised account of the foreign colony on Capri during the early years of the twentieth century and its uneasy relation with Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen. See how the "charmed circle" of good sex (as Gayle Rubin puts it) gets drawn, and how the closet worked as an open secret. Can't wait for the delivery of Extraordinary Women, Mackenzie's follow-up novel about Capri's lesbian community.
A great literary read, so sadly neglected. More detailed review later...
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Compton Mackenzie was born into a theatrical family. His father, Edward Compton, was an actor and theatre company manager; his sister, Fay Compton, starred in many of James M. Barrie's plays, including Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. He was educated at St Paul's School and Magdalen College, Oxford where he obtained a degree in Modern History.

Mackenzie was married three times and aside...more
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“Oh, my dear, how too marvelous! I've longed all my life to eat a flamingo.” 1 likes
“Alors, ma passion n'a pas d'échos en lui. Pour lui mon tragique amour n'est rien qu'un blasphème anormal. Oh, mon Carlo, mon Carlo, et toi, tu étais mon sang, ma chair! Comme je souffre! Grand dieu, comme je souffre!” 0 likes
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