The Bolter

Idina Sackville - The woman who scandalised 1920s Society and became White Mischief's infamous seductress

Author: Frances Osborne

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748111476

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 3256

On Friday 25th May, 1934, a forty-one-year-old woman walked into the lobby of Claridge's Hotel to meet the nineteen-year-old son whose face she did not know. Fifteen years earlier, as the First World War ended, Idina Sackville shocked high society by leaving his multimillionaire father to run off to Africa with a near penniless man. An inspiration for Nancy Mitford's character The Bolter, painted by William Orpen, and photographed by Cecil Beaton, Sackville went on to divorce a total of five times, yet died with a picture of her first love by her bed. Her struggle to reinvent her life with each new marriage left one husband murdered and branded her the 'high priestess' of White Mischief's bed-hopping Happy Valley in Kenya. Sackville's life was so scandalous that it was kept a secret from her great-granddaughter Frances Osborne. Now, Osborne tells the moving tale of betrayal and heartbreak behind Sackville's road to scandal and return, painting a dazzling portrait of high society in the early twentieth century.

White Mischief

The Murder of Lord Erroll

Author: James Fox

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1480489174

Category: True Crime

Page: 338

View: 4723

The riveting true story of decadence, deception, and murder among British aristocrats in colonial Kenya In 1941, with London burning in the Blitz, a group of hedonistic English nobles partied shamelessly in Kenya. Far removed from falling bombs, the wealthy elites of “Happy Valley” indulged in morphine, alcohol, and unrestricted sex, often with their friends’ spouses. But the party turned sinister in the early hours of a January morning for Josslyn Hay, Lord Erroll, who had been enjoying the favors of the beautiful young wife of a middle-aged neighbor. Hay was found dead, a bullet in his brain. The murder shocked the close-knit community of wealthy expatriates in Nairobi and shined a harsh light on their louche lifestyle. Three decades later, author James Fox researched the slaying of Lord Erroll, an unsolved crime still sheathed in a thick cloud of rumor and innuendo. What he discovered was both unsettling and luridly compelling. White Mischief is a spellbinding true-crime classic, a tale of privileged excess and the wages of sin, and an account of one writer’s determined effort to crack a cold and craven killing.

The Temptress

The scandalous life of Alice, Countess de Janzé

Author: Paul Spicer

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0857200100

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 7868

In Kenya's 'Happy Valley' in the years spanning the 1920s to the 1940s no one paid too much attention to the privileged colonial set as they farmed their estates, partied until dawn and indulged in extra-marital affairs. Not until Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll, was shot dead at the wheel of his Buick in the early hours of 24 January 1941. Some said the good-looking womaniser had it coming. He was a philanderer who could have had any number of enemies among cuckolded husbands who wanted revenge. Ageing Jock Delves Broughton stood trial for Erroll's murder but was acquitted and the mystery remained unsolved - until now. American heiress Alice de Janzé had been conducting a clandestine affair with Joss for years. Married into French aristocracy, her stunning beauty was to prove a fatal lure to men of adventure. Previously tried by a French court for shooting one of her lovers, scandal followed her wherever she went. She arrived in Kenya as a newly married Countess in the 1920s, but by 1941 she had turned forty and the years of partying had taken their toll. Pushed aside by Erroll for younger lovers, and increasingly isolated, Alice threw herself into an act of desperation, resulting in his murder and her own tragic demise. The Temptressnot only solves the mystery of Josslyn Hay's murder with the utmost conviction - it eloquently paints a portrait of a volatile, captivating woman.

Lilla's Feast

One Woman's True Story of Love and War in the Orient

Author: Frances Osborne

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0307431398

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 828

At the end of her life, Frances Osborne’s one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother Lilla was as elegant as ever–all fitted black lace and sparkling-white diamonds. To her great-grandchildren, Lilla was both an ally and a mysterious wonder. Her bedroom was filled with treasures from every exotic corner of the world. But she rarely mentioned the Japanese prison camps in which she spent much of World War II, or the elaborate cookbook she wrote to help her survive behind the barbed wire. Beneath its polished surface, Lilla’s life had been anything but effortless. Born in 1882 to English parents in the beautiful North China port city of Chefoo, Lilla was an identical twin. Growing up, she knew both great privilege and deprivation, love and its absence. But the one constant was a deep appreciation for the power of food and place. From the noodles of Shanghai to the chutney of British India and the roasts of England, good food and sensuous surroundings, Lilla was raised to believe, could carry one a long way toward happiness. Her story is brimming with the stuff of good fiction: distant locales, an improvident marriage, an evil mother-in-law, a dramatic suicide, and two world wars. Lilla’s remarkable cookbook, which she composed while on the brink of starvation, makes no mention of wartime rations, of rotten vegetables and donkey meat. In the world this magical food journal, now housed in the Imperial War Museum in London, everyone is warm and safe in their homes, and the pages are filled with cream puffs, butterscotch, and comforting soup. In its writing, Lilla was able to transform the darkest moments into scrumptious escape. Lilla’s Feast is a rich evocation of a bygone world, the inspiring story of an ordinary woman who tackled the challenges life threw in her path with an extraordinary determination. From the Hardcover edition.

Park Lane

A Novel

Author: Frances Osborne

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0345803280

Category: Fiction

Page: 322

View: 2085

The bestselling author of "The Bolter" returns with a delicious novel about two determined women whose lives collide in the halls of a pedigreed London town home. But unbeknownst to both of the young women, the choices they make will connect their chances at future happiness.

The Legend of Colton H Bryant

Author: Alexandra Fuller

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1847398693

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 9075

Colton H. Bryant grew up in Wyoming and never once wanted to leave it. Wyoming loved him and he loved it back. Two things helped Colton get through school and the neighbourhood bullies: his best friend Jake and his favourite mantra: Mind over matter-- which meant to him: if you don't mind, it don't matter. Colton and Jake grew up wanting nothing more that the freedom to sleep out under the great Wyoming night sky, and to be just like Jake's dad, Bill, a strong, gentle man of few words who can ride rodeo like nobody's business. When Colton started work as a driller on a rig, despite his young wife begging him to quit, he claimed it was in his blood. Colton did die young and he died on the rig -- falling to his death because the oil company neglected to spend the $2,000 on safety rails. His family received no compensation. The strong, sad story of Colton H. Bryant's life could not be told without the telling of the land that grew him, where there are still such things as cowboys roaming the plains, where it is relationships that get you through and where a simple, soulful and just man named Colton H. Bryant lived and died.

Happy Valley

Author: Nicholas Best

Publisher: Thistle Publishing

ISBN: 9781909869196

Category:

Page: 234

View: 6809

The definitive story of the British in Kenya, from the explorer Joseph Thomson, whose exploits inspired King Solomon's Mines, to the decadent Happy Valley set of the 1930s, the murder of Lord Erroll, and the Mau Mau revolt of the 1950s. "Nicholas Best tells an immensely entertaining tale" - Max Hastings, Evening Standard "Erudite, amusing and, even, gossipy" - Nigel Dempster, Punch "First class... quite hilariously funny!'" - Melbourne Herald "Anyone with experience of Kenya, past or present, resident or tourist, will enjoy reading Happy Valley" - Country Life

The Husband Hunters

American Heiresses Who Married into the British Aristocracy

Author: Anne de Courcy

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250164613

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 6941

A deliciously told group biography of the young, rich, American heiresses who married into the impoverished British aristocracy at the turn of the twentieth century – The real women who inspired Downton Abbey Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age. Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.

Wild Magic

Author: Cat Weatherill

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9780802722553

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 288

View: 5868

When the Pied Piper enchanted the children of Hamelin and led them away, Mari and her brother, Jakob, followed his song. Now they are trapped in a beautiful but cruel world inhabited by a horrid Beast. Finding a way to escape will require some wild magic, in this powerful story of a family torn apart by tragedy, and the magical adventure that heals them.

The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects

Author: Barbara G. Walker

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062288873

Category: Reference

Page: 576

View: 2197

This fascinating guide to the history and mythology of woman-related symbols features: Unique organization by shape of symbol or type of sacred object 21 different sections including Round and Oval Motifs, Sacred Objects, Secular-Sacred Objects, Rituals, Deities' Signs, Supernaturals, Body Parts, Nature, Birds, Plants, Minerals, Stones and Shells, and more Introductory essays for each section 753 entries and 636 illustrations Alphabetical index for easy reference Three-Rayed Sun The sun suspended in heaven by three powers, perhaps the Triple Goddess who gave birth to it (see Three-Way Motifs). Corn Dolly An embodiment of the harvest to be set in the center of the harvest dance, or fed to the cattle to `make them thrive year round' (see Secular-Sacred Objects). Tongue In Asia, the extended tongue was a sign of life-force as the tongue between the lips imitated the sacred lingam-yoni: male within female genital. Sticking out the tongue is still a polite sign of greeting in northern India and Tibet (see Body Parts). Cosmic Egg In ancient times the primeval universe-or the Great Mother-took the form of an egg. It carried all numbers and letters within an ellipse, to show that everything is contained within one form at the beginning (see Round and Oval Motifs).

The Viceroy's Daughters

The Lives of the Curzon Sisters

Author: Anne de Courcy

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062381725

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 464

View: 1901

Based on unpublished letters and diaries, The Viceroy's Daughters is a riveting portrait of three spirited and wilful women who were born at the height of British upper-class wealth and privilege. The oldest, Irene, never married but pursued her passion for foxes, alcohol, and married men. The middle, Cimmie, was a Labour Party activist turned Fascist. And Baba, the youngest and most beautiful, possessed an appetite for adultery that was as dangerous as it was outrageous. As the sisters dance, dine, and romance their way through England's most hallowed halls, we get an intimate look at a country clinging to its history in the midst of war and rapid change. We obtain fresh perspectives on such personalities as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Oswald Mosley, Nancy Astor and the Cliveden Set, and Lord Halifax. And we discover a world of women, impeccably bred and unabashedly wilful, whose passion and spirit were endlessly fascinating.

Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries)

Author: Barbara Goldsmith

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393079767

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 6216

The bestselling, "excellent…poignant—and scientifically lucid—portrait" (New York Times Book Review) of the remarkable Marie Curie. Through family interviews, diaries, letters, and workbooks that had been sealed for over sixty years, Barbara Goldsmith reveals the Marie Curie behind the myth—an all-too-human woman struggling to balance a spectacular scientific career, a demanding family, the prejudice of society, and her own passionate nature. Obsessive Genius is a dazzling portrait of Curie, her amazing scientific success, and the price she paid for fame.

Child of Happy Valley

A Memoir

Author: Juanita Carberry,Nicola Tyrer

Publisher: Random House Uk Limited

ISBN: 9780099281399

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 193

View: 8637

An astonishing and entertaining memoir about a childhood in White Mischief Kenya.

Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy

Author: Frances Kiernan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393348520

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 848

View: 4485

A revealing portrait of the dramatic life of writer and intellectual Mary McCarthy. From her Partisan Review days to her controversial success as the author of The Group, to an epic libel battle with Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy brought a nineteenth-century scope and drama to her emblematic twentieth-century life. Dubbed by Time as "quite possibly the cleverest woman America has ever produced," McCarthy moved in a circle of ferociously sharp-tongued intellectuals—all of whom had plenty to say about this diamond in their midst. Frances Kiernan's biography does justice to one of the most controversial American intellectuals of the twentieth century. With interviews from dozens of McCarthy's friends, former lovers, literary and political comrades-in-arms, awestruck admirers, amused observers, and bitter adversaries, Seeing Mary Plain is rich in ironic judgment and eloquent testimony. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000 and a Washington Post Book World "Rave".

Restless

Author: William Boyd

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 030737534X

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 9266

Sally Gilmartin can’t escape her past. Living in the idyllic English countryside in 1976, Sally is haunted by her experiences during the Second World War. She also suspects someone is trying to kill her. With mounting fear, Sally confides with her daughter Ruth; a woman struggling with her own past. Sally drops a bombshell. She is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited as a spy by the British prior to the Second World War. For the past thirty years, Eva has led a second life hiding from the ghosts of her past. Eva reveals her secret to her daughter through a series of written chapters for a planned book. As Ruth delves into her mother’s writing, she learns the shocking truth. Eva was recruited in Paris prior to the Second World War, following the death of her brother Kolia; also a British spy. Taught by an enigmatic spymaster named Lucas Romer, Eva learned the art of espionage and was made part of a unit specializing in media manipulation. Above all, she was taught ‘Rule Number One’ of spying: trust no one — a rule broken when she and Romer began a dangerous love affair. The affair had tragic consequences. In 1941, Eva and Romer were assigned to the United States. They were given the task of manipulating the American media into motivating the public to support entry into the war on the Allied side. While in New York, Eva’s affair with Romer set in motion events that culminated in her betrayal and her flight from the British Secret Services. She found eventual refuge in a new life as Sally Gilmartin. Thirty years later, Eva’s identity unravels with her confession to her daughter. Ruth struggles with the truth, and her own recent past fills her with self-doubt and insecurity. A failed relationship in Germany resulted in a son and an eventual return to England. Her mother’s confession leads Ruth to the realization that her mother is entangling her in one final mission — a showdown with Eva’s past betrayer. Restless twists and turns through the double life of one remarkable woman. Through Eva’s life, William Boyd asks the intriguing question — How well do we truly know someone? From the Hardcover edition.

The Last Mrs. Astor: A New York Story

Author: Frances Kiernan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393078841

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 7926

"Kiernan's sharp-eyed biography brings back a woman who, far into her 90s, relished the dance of life."—O Magazine The fabulous life of Brooke Astor, a pioneer of philanthropy and for decades a luminary of New York society. Hers is a story out of Edith Wharton. After a disastrous early marriage, Brooke Astor wedded the notoriously ill-tempered Vincent Astor, who died in 1959. In a highly publicized courtroom battle, Brooke fought off an attempt to break Vincent's will, which left some $67 million to the Vincent Astor Foundation. As the foundation's president, Brooke would use this legacy to benefit New York, where the Astor fortune had been made.Brooke would personally visit each grant applicant and charm anyone she met. At her one-hundredth birthday, princes and presidents honored her, but in 2006 a grandson petitioned the courts to have his father removed as Brooke's guardian. Once again an Astor court battle became the stuff of headlines. This biography—based on firsthand knowledge and interviews with Brooke's friends and the heads of New York's great cultural institutions—gives us back the woman so loved and admired, whose hands-on approach would inspire future philanthropists.

Too Close to the Sun

The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton

Author: Sara Wheeler

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1588365999

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 2901

Denys Finch Hatton was adored by women and idolized by men. A champion of Africa, legendary for his good looks, his charm, and his prowess as a soldier, lover, and hunter, Finch Hatton inspired Karen Blixen to write the unforgettable stories in Out of Africa. Now esteemed British biographer Sara Wheeler tells the truth about this extraordinarily charismatic adventurer. Born to an old aristocratic family that had gambled away most of its fortune, Finch Hatton grew up in a world of effortless elegance and boundless power. Tall and graceful, with the soul of a poet and an athlete’s relaxed masculinity, he became a hero without trying at Eton and Oxford. In 1910, searching for novelty and danger, Finch Hatton arrived in British East Africa and fell in love–with a continent, with a landscape, with a way of life that was about to change forever. Wheeler brilliantly conjures the mystical beauty of Kenya at a time when teeming herds of wild animals roamed unmolested across pristine savannah. No one was more deeply attuned to this beauty than Finch Hatton–and no one more bitterly mourned its passing when the outbreak of World War I engulfed the region in a protracted, bloody guerrilla conflict. Finch Hatton was serving as a captain in the Allied forces when he met Karen Blixen in Nairobi and embarked on one of the great love affairs of the twentieth century. With delicacy and grace, Wheeler teases out truth from fiction in the liaison that Blixen herself immortalized in Out of Africa. Intellectual equals, bound by their love for the continent and their inimitable sense of style, Finch Hatton and Blixen were genuine pioneers in a land that was quickly being transformed by violence, greed, and bigotry. Ever restless, Finch Hatton wandered into a career as a big-game hunter and became an expert bush pilot; his passion that led to his affair with the notoriously unconventional aviatrix Beryl Markham. But Markham was no more able to hold him than Blixen had been. Mesmerized all his life by the allure of freedom and danger, Finch Hatton was, writes Wheeler, “the open road made flesh.” In painting a portrait of an irresistible man, Sara Wheeler has beautifully captured the heady glamour of the vanished paradise of colonial East Africa. In Too Close to the Sun she has crafted a book that is as ravishing as its subject. From the Hardcover edition.