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Frances Osborne
The Bolter: The Story of Idina Sackville, Who Ran Away to Become the Chief Seductress of Kenya's Scandalous "Happy Valley Set"
 
 
Author
Frances Osborne.
Publisher Vintage  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780307476425
Pages/Publication Date 344/2009
Daedalus Item Code 49010
List Price: $15.95
Sale Price: $11.95
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Description
The 1920s and 30 were an age of bolters—women who broke the rules of English society and fled their marriages—and Lady Idina Sackville was the most celebrated of them all. Her five marriages, relentless affairs, wild sex parties, and brazen flaunting of convention shocked nearly everyone and inspired writers and artists from Nancy Mitford to Greta Garbo. But Idina's magnetic charm masked deep feelings of betrayal and heartbreak. Frances Osborne discovered the dazzling but enigmatic Sackville—her great-grandmother, only whispered about within the family—as a character in James Fox's White Mischief, and this biography follows Idina from Edwardian London to the hills of Kenya, where she reigned over the scandalous antics of the "Happy Valley Set." Along with vivid descriptions of alcohol- and drug-fueled wife-swapping parties that lasted for days, Osborne charts Idina's relationships with her husbands and her children, and offers insightful descriptions of social propriety in England and British colonialism in Africa.

"Rich, titled, witty, beguiling, Lady Idina Sackville had all the gifts, except, perhaps, judgment. Frances Osborne has written an enthralling account of a dazzling, troubled life."—Julian Fellowes

"Even today Lady Idina Sackville could get tongues wagging.... Through [Idina's] story, we not only get a sexy and difficult-to-put-down read, we also get a good look at the shadow side of this prim and proper era and the real women who defied convention to live in it."—NPR

"Osborne's lively narrative brings Lady Idina Sackville (an inspiration for Nancy Mitford's character the Bolter) boldly to life, with a black lapdog named Satan at her side and a cigarette in her hand. Osborne portrays a desperately lonely woman who shocked Edwardian high society with relentless affairs and drug-fueled orgies.... Osborne makes generous use of sources and private family photos to add immediacy and depth to the portrait of a woman most often remembered as an amoral five-time divorcée: the author shows her hidden kindnesses at her carefully preserved Kenyan cattle ranch—a refuge from the later destructive Kenyan massacres. Still, Osborne unflinchingly exposes Idina's flaws—along with those of everyone else in the politely adulterous high society—while ably couching them in the context of the tumultuous times in which Idina resolved to find happiness in all the wrong places. The text, most lyrical when describing the landscapes around Idina's African residences, proves that an adventurous spirit continues to run in this fascinating family."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
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Park Lane
Frances Osborne.
Studio: Vintage.   Format: paperback. ISBN: 9780345803283.  Daedalus Item Code: 29382
List Price: $15.95 Sale Price: $9.95 You Save: $6.00
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