VIRTUES AND VICES by Grania Beckford


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As in Touch the Fire (1979)--but without that novel's modicum of characterization and plot--Beckford again dispenses flouncy fancy-dress pornography through a series of overlapping episodes and narrators. The turn-of-the-century focus here is on Kellynch Hail, where Sir Wilfred Elliott and his daughters get it on with a variety of visitors. There's cousin Wilberforce, a poor relation who has been named heir to the estate: he is manually seduced by Sir W.'s Amazonian daughter Edwina, but he lusts after demure Angela. There's con-man Captain Wentworth (gigolo to insatiable Lady Russell, Angela's lesbian lover): he services everyone in sight in his quest for a rich wife. And so it goes--with sex on a bicycle, lesbian detours, lots of graphic detail (male anatomy a specialty), and one unpleasantly cute-kinky touch: a little peeping-tom child (Sir W.'s grandson) who gets involved in the bedroom gymnastics. Thoroughly sleazy despite the Edwardian frills; of prurient interest only.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's