Utterly Immoral, Robert Keable and his scandalous novel, is the first full biography of Robert Keable, famous in the 1920s and author of Simon Called Peter . Simon Keable-Elliott, Robert Keable’s grandson, has extensively researched Keable’s life building on previously unpublished research by James Douglas, Tim Couzens and Hugh Cecil to produce an authoritative book which explores both the writing of and reaction to the scandalous novel Simon Called Peter and the extraordinary career of a priest, missionary, novelist and 1920’s international celebrity. This site includes information on Utterly Immoral, a blog offering more in-depth research into the life and times of Robert Keable not covered in the book, and details of the talks that Simon is giving on his book, the life of Robert Keable and other related topics.
Speaker and writer
Educated at Sherborne School and Durham University, Simon first worked in Fleet Street – as a barman – before managing restaurants in Mayfair, Hampstead and Putney. He owned and ran Keables, a café bar restaurant in West Norwood, for 8 years before re-training as a teacher and spending 25 years as Head of Politics and Director of MUN at a secondary school in Croydon. He has written articles for Genealogy Today, The Church Times, The History News Network, The Beresford Family Society Magazine, and The Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research (to be published spring 2024) . He is an accredited lecturer for the Arts Society and also a regular speaker at events run by Western Front Associations, U3As and Family History Societies.
Simon is Robert Keable’s grandson and Utterly Immoral is his first book.
Robert Keable in his 1919 book about the Great War, Standing By: Wartime Reflections in France
and Flanders, wrote of his hopes for the chaplains after the war. ”It is inconceivable that they will not
make an upheaval; if they do not it will be one of the central disappointments of my life.”
Many of the chaplains did make significant contributions to the post war church and society, but
perhaps one who was most famous, possibly notorious, was Keable himself, whose post war life …
Written by his grandson, and meticulously researched, this biography of largely forgotten author Robert Keable is a wonderfully enlightening and absorbing account of an unconventional and unusual man and writer. His most notorious and controversial novel Simon Called Peter (also definitely worth reading) became a huge international best-seller and a real succès de scandale. Simon Keable-Elliot has done a stellar job in recounting his grandfather’s life and also provides intelligent…
My favorite thing about this thoroughly researched book was its title; I'd never heard of its subject before, author Simon Keable-Elliott's grandfather Robert Keable and his most famous book, Simon Called Peter. Simon Called Peter was about an English military chaplain's struggles with his religion, work, marriage, and maintaining loyalty to any of them. Its reputation due to bits of unprecedented naughtiness earned it plenty of acclaim and attention, but serious reviewers pointed o…
Dr Linda Parker (http://www.linda-parker.co.uk/)
Mandy J, Reviewer for NetGalley
Emi Y NetGalley Reviewer
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