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Norman Douglas (1868-1952) was born in Austria and educated in England, Germany and France. Much of his life was spent in exile, in Italy and the south of France. His first work, Siren Land, was published in 1911, followed by Fountains in the Sand (1912) and Old Calabria (1915). Publication of his most famous novel, South Wind, in 1917 established his reputation as one of the foremost writers of his generation. Douglas returned briefly to England in 1942 but spent the last five years of his life on Capri, where he died after a long illness. Though his life was surrounded by controversy, Douglas's prose reflected an elegance and beauty acclaimed by critics. His novels and travel books are now widely regarded as classics.
'What makes Siren Land exceptional is the quality of the telling. Weaving scholarship, impressions, fact and fantasy into an intricate fabric as enchantingly entertaining and full of human interest as the best of fairy tales or ancient myths. One of the most memorable books of its genre.' - Mark Holloway, in his introduction to Siren Land; 'The most beautiful thing we printed.' - Ford Maddox Ford, The English Review, on the first chapter of Siren Land; 'One of the most entertaining literary characters of his age, always unexpected. He lived and died an unpenitent nonconformist.' - The Evening Standard