CERTAIN ASPECTS OF MORAL COURAGE by Compton Mackenzie

CERTAIN ASPECTS OF MORAL COURAGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Compton Mackenzie makes a cranky, curiously candid, often rambling Diogenes seeking moral courage in some of the 20th century's most famous people or events. The targets are, in the widest sense, hypocrisy, humbug, holier-than-thou hysteria, while the arrows comprise truth, justice, compassion, self-respect and a cool head. The Duke of Windsor giving up the throne for the woman he loves, Oscar Wilde staying in London to face the music, Conan Doyle defending the dregs of humanity, Roger Casement losing his treason trial due to the passing round of the so-called Black Diaries, Douglas Home refusing to obey in war, von Stauffenberg taking his stand against Hitler- all these and many others engagingly exemplify the Mackenzie index of courage, especially as it snubs public opinion, past or present. But the book's best pages are not quite so lofty; in a peppery, pointedly personal memoir Mackenzie, after wryly saluting Lawrence's four-letter-word fervor, concludes that his mind was as much hag-ridden by sex as that of John Knox and that Lady Chatterly's Lover was merely a projection of Lawrence's own inability to satisfy his wife Frieda. A confetti of entertainment.

Publisher: Doubleday