Highland Fling



Date of First Publication: 1931


When fashionable Bright Young People meet the old regime on a Scottish grouse moor, the real sport begins. . . Albert Gates, a surrealist painter of impeccable family, is given to outrageous pranks; Jane Dacre finds him irresistible but the crusty older members of the shooting party are less keen. His victims include Lady Prague, whom he haunts disguised as the castle ghost, and General Murgatroyd, who will never willingly shake hands with a foreigner. The comically ill-assorted house-party encapsulates perfectly the high-society glamour of the decade before the Second World War.


‘A delightful comedy of manners.’

‘Oh, now do tell me, I’m so interested in art, what
do you chiefly go in for? I mean – water-colours
or oils?’
‘My principal medium is what you would call oils.
Gouache, tempera and prepared dung are mediums
I never neglect, while my bead, straw and
button pictures have aroused a great deal of
criticism not by any means all unfavourable.’
‘It always seems to me a great pity to go in for oils
unless you’re really good. Now Prague’s sister has
a girl who draws quite nicely and she wanted to
go Paris, but I said to her parents, “Why let her
learn oils. There are too many oil paintings in the
world already.”’