Sarah Sinquier, living with her father and mother, a cathedral canon and his wife, in a town bursting with churches, is champing at the bit.
She has a dream: the stage. Her dramatic sense is certainly acute. Shall she simply recite, as her father suggests? Or does life hold more? Throwing off caution, and a few choice treasures into the folds of her cloak for succour, she slips out one misty night for London, City of Love.
Thence follow the struggles of an ingénue to gain the notice of the denizens of the theatre, who are themselves vulnerable votaries of fame. Gossip, parties, the Café Royal - the right connection may raise its head at any time. Finally the boards heed her call, and Sarah’s caprice is made good. Surely her name is now destined to be known? But the hand of fate moves unexpectedly. . .
Caprice, first published in 1917, was Ronald Firbank’s third novel. His much-vaunted eccentric concision is here at a high point, as is his exotic treatment of character and breathless conversational camp. These thespian exploits which delight in suggestions of scandal and expose them with audacious wit are the perfect Firbank concern.