Sir Compton Mackenzie (SirEdward Montague Mackenzie Biography
(1883–1972), (SirEdward Montague Mackenzie, The Passionate Elopement, Carnival, Sinister Street, Vestal Fire, Extraordinary Women, Greek Memories
British novelist, born in West Hartlepool, County Durham, educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. Following successes with the novels The Passionate Elopement (1911) and Carnival (1912), he was acclaimed as a major novelist for Sinister Street (two volumes, 1913, 1914), a psychologically penetrating narrative of a young man's passage through Oxford towards moral dissolution in the East End of London. After wartime service in the Dardanelles, Mackenzie lived in Capri for much of the 1920s, associating with D. H. Lawrence and Norman Douglas; ‘Sirene’, a fictionalized version of the island, forms the setting for Vestal Fire (1927) and Extraordinary Women (1928), which were considered scandalous for their erotic content. Greek Memories (1932), the last of the series of memoirs of his wartime experiences, resulted in a prosecution for disclosing classified information, to which he reacted with Water on the Brain (1933), a farcical satire on the intelligence services. Thereafter, he produced a succession of comic novels which include The Red Tapeworm (1941), the highly successful Whisky Galore (1947), Rockets Galore (1957), and The Lunatic Republic (1959). The most notable of his other novels is The Four Winds of Love (six volumes, 1937–45), an encompassing panorama of cultural and political developments throughout the earlier decades of the twentieth century. His many other publications include Reaped and Bound (1933), a collection of essays; All over the Place (1948), on his travels; and Wind of Freedom (1943), an account of the invasion of Greece in 1940. My Life and Times, his entertaining autobiography, appeared in ten volumes from 1963 to 1971.
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Earl Lovelace Biography to Madmen and Specialists