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Extraordinary Women
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Extraordinary Women
Compton Mackenzie

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 a clefs', Vestal Fire and Extraordinary Women, published in 1927 and 1928 respectively. These see Compton Mackenzie at his satirical best. Both are reissued in Faber Finds. The island of Capri, in the early twentieth-century, was a remarkably tolerant place providing a haven in particular for those with the sort of sexual appetites that were banned elsewhere. Homosexuals, both male and female, retreated to Capri and many were to find themselves appearing in fictional guise in Compton Mackenzie's two novels. Narrative drive is not what you will find here, instead there is delicious and wicked social comedy that exuberantly charts the endless feuds and machinations.

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Sunday, February 25th, 2018