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Sinister Street, vol. 1

Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie was born on January 17th, 1883, in West Hartlepool, County Durham, England. Mackenzie was educated at St Paul's School, London before attending Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in modern history. Initially Mackenzie worked as an actor, political activist and broadcaster before first publishing a book of poems in 1907 followed by a first novel in 1911. As Europe became enveloped in the horror of World War I Mackenzie found himself to be a skilled operator in the black arts of intelligence and served with British Intelligence in the Eastern Mediterranean. Although he shuttled between Greece and London his home since 1913 had primarily been in Capri where he lived with his wife Faith until 1920 before moving to Scotland. Across his long productive life, he had wide range of interests but Mackenzie also found the time and space to write over a hundred works across a number of genres and to establish himself as one of the 20th Century’s most popular writers, especially as that audience was further widened with films of his books such as Whiskey Galore! Although born in England Mackenzie was forever foraging for his cultural roots. He considered himself Scottish and in word and deed and location he was. In 1928 he was also one of the co-founders of the Scottish National Party. Sir Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie, OBE, died on November 30th, 1972, aged 89, in Edinburgh and was interred at Eolaigearraidh, Barra.
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