Husband Compton Mackenzie

Queer Places:
Villa Solitaria, Via del Pizzolungo, 80076 Capri NA
Suidheachan, Eoligarry, Isle of Barra HS9 5YD, UK
Denchworth Manor, Hyde Rd, Denchworth, Wantage OX12 0DX, UK

Compton Mackenzie; Faith Nona (née Stone), Lady MackenzieFaith Nona Compton Mackenzie or Lady Mackenzie (née Stone; 26 February 1878 – 9 July 1960) was an author known for memoirs of her travels around Europe.

Faith Stone was born in February 1878, the daughter of Elizabeth Theresa "Lily" Vidal (1841-1898, the only daughter of novelist Mary Theresa Vidal and Rev. Francis Furse Vidal[1])) and Edward Daniel Stone, a Greek and Latin schoolmaster at Eton College.[2] She was one of 10 children, including notable younger brother Christopher Stone, and attended the Francis Holland School for Girls in London.[2]

Between 1901 and 1905 she was an actress, under the stage name "Faith Reynolds", in Sir Charles Hawtrey's company, appearing in London and New York, initially in his production of A Message from Mars.[3] During these years she knew the Irish artist Althea Gyles, on whom the character of Ariadne Burden in Tatting (1957) was later based.[4]

On 30 November 1905, Faith Stone married the writer Compton Mackenzie in St Saviour's, Pimlico.[5]

Between 1913 and 1920, Mackenzie lived with her husband on Capri at Villa Solitaria, an Italian island near Sorrento. Mackenzie was known for her own talent on the piano, and during her time on Capri she had an affair with the Italian pianist Renata Borgatti.[6][7]

Pensione Faraglioni, Capri

At times, Mackenzie and her husband lived apart. From 1920, Compton Mackenzie was tenant of the Channel Islands of Herm and Jethou. During this time D. H. Lawrence dined with Faith in Capri. She was the inspiration behind the story 'Two Blue Birds', and was unhappy that he had written such a "monstrous perversion of facts" based on their dinner conversation.[8]

From 1930, the Mackenzies lived on the Scottish island Eilean Aigas, and it is from this period onwards that Mackenzie began to write.[9] She began with historical biographies in the early 1930s.[10]

In 1933, the Mackenzies relocated to Barra, where they built a house named 'Suidheachan' (the sitting-down place).[11] She reportedly had a "passion for furnishing new houses" that fortunately matched her husband's passion for acquiring new islands.[9] By the late 1930s, Mackenzie became best known for volumes of memoirs describing her life in places such as Capri, Paris, Rome, Milan, Guernsey and Barra.[9][12]

By the mid 1940s, the Mackenzies were no longer living on islands and had bought Denchworth Manor near Wantage.[5] In 1950, Mackenzie bought a stuffed tabby cat at Portobello Market that was purported to be Crimean Tom, the famous survivor of the war in Sebastopol.[13] It is now in the National Army Museum. A portrait of Lady Mackenzie from November 1955 is held by the National Portrait Gallery.[14]

Faith Compton Mackenzie died on 9 July 1960.[9]

My published books:

See my published books