In pre-War Europe, the expatriate inhabitants of Sirene are proud of their reputation for tolerance; the island is a haven for anyone seeking acceptance, quiet - and gossip. When the charming dilettante Count Marsac appears in their midst, the islanders accept him as one of their own, especially the Misses Pepworth-Norton, the aging lesbians who form social opinion on the island. But Marsac's vice is more shocking than anyone expected, and when the rumours start to fly, the island community comes close to breaking apart.
Compton Mackenzie set Vestal Fire, first published 1927, on the island of Capri (fictionalised as Sirene), where he had lived while finishing Sinister Street in 1913-14. In those years it was an island of exiles and expatriates, settled by gay men and women looking for tolerance, and artists and writers seeking inspiration.
Publisher: Faber & Faber ISBN: 9780571251629 Number of pages: 442 Weight: 470 g Dimensions: 198 x 126 x 32 mm Edition: Main
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