The Flower Beneath the Foot

Ronald Firbank

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12 July 2018
120 pages

With an introduction by Alan Hollinghurst

At the fantastical court of King Willie and Her Dreaminess the Queen of Pisuerga, maid of honour Laura de Nazianzi and His Weariness Prince Yousef whisper promises to each other in the palace gardens. But Laura is destined for disappointment. The King and Queen have plans for a royal wedding for their Prince, and the young woman in their sights is none other than Princess Elsie of England. The court is all aflutter . . .

First published in 1923, Ronald Firbank's The Flower Beneath the Foot is a flamboyant court satire and lyrical tour de force of innuendo and eccentricity. Read by many as a subversive celebration of homosexuality, this is a classic of modernist literature from a stylist like no other.

Each of Firbank's novels is a daring experiment in style and form

Alan Hollinghurst

Intricate, amiably grotesque buffoonery

New York Times