A prolific writer of fiction, biography, histories, and memoir, as well as a cultural commentator, raconteur, and lifelong Scottish nationalist.
Sinister Street, vol. 1
Sinister Street, vol. 2
The Early Life and Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett
The Vanity Girl
Sylvia & Michael
The Altar Steps
The Passionate Elopement
Guy and Pauline
Life is a comedy, a carnival, and all of us wear masks. So Compton Mackenzie would have us feel, if we can judge from the spirit of his "Carnival," a story hailed by the New York Times as "about the best novel published this season." The central figure of the book is Jenny, a cockney ballet-girl, who shows herself a true daughter of the carnival, a Columbine in actuality. At her birth the fairies had endowed her with the gift of rhythm. "She had deliciously slim legs and a figure as lithe as a hazel wand. Her almond eyes were of some fantastic shade of sapphire blue with deep gray twilights in them and sea-green laughter."
Plashers Mead is an unusual sort of title; but then it belongs to a novel quite out of the ordinary. There is something both striking and delightful in the way this love story is told, although the incidents are trivial enough, and the persons more like ordinary living folk than the principals of most modern fiction. But with a sure hand and delicate touch, a remarkable sense of color, and a gift of imagination all his own, the author weaves page after page of lyrical prose into a tapestry that leaves the critic without opportunity for disparagement.
The Altar Steps-
The theme is of boyhood and growth instead of manhood and decay. The hero, Mark Lidderdale, is the son of a parish priest in London, one of the martyrs of the ritualistic controversy of the eighties. His own education for the priesthood through the Catholic Movement in the Church of England is the substance of the book, which is but an overture to The Parson's Progress.