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Josslyn and Idina Hay at Slains, their farm in Kenya

Josslyn and Idina Hay at Slains, their farm in Kenya


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Josslyn and Idina Hay at Slains, their farm in Kenya

The Hon. Josslyn and Lady Idina Hay pictured at Slains, their 2000 acre farm in Gilgil, Kenya. Pictured from left are: The Hon. Josslyn Hay, Major Roberts, Major J. Grant, Lady Idina Hay, Mrs C. Birkbeck, the Princess Philippe de Bourbon, and the Hon. Mrs Grant. The farmhouse can be seen in the background. Five-times married Idina would gain notoriety as part of the Happy Valley Set when she moved to Kenya in 1924 with her third husband, Josslyn Hay, Earl of Errol. With her serial marriages and reputation for debauched decadence, she inspired the character of The Bolter in Nancy Mitfords novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, Evelyn Waughs Vile Bodies and the character Iris Storm in The Green Hat by Michael Arlen. Date: 1926

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Media ID 14126362

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Birkbeck Bolter Bourbon Colonies Farmhouse Grant Idina Infamous Josslyn Kenya Major Mischief Notorious Philippe Roberts Scandal 1926


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this photograph, the Hon. Josslyn and Lady Idina Hay are seen enjoying a leisurely moment at their 2000-acre farm, Slains, located in Gilgil, Kenya. The serene scene is graced by the presence of several distinguished guests, including Major Roberts, Major J. Grant, Mrs. C. Birkbeck, the Princess Philippe de Bourbon, and the Hon. Mrs. Grant. The farmhouse, a quintessential symbol of British colonial life in East Africa, can be seen in the background. Lady Idina Hay, a five-time married woman, gained notoriety as a prominent figure of the Happy Valley Set when she moved to Kenya with her third husband, Josslyn Hay, Earl of Errol, in 1924. Her scandalous reputation for debauched decadence and serial marriages inspired numerous literary characters, such as The Bolter in Nancy Mitford's novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies, and the character Iris Storm in Michael Arlen's The Green Hat. Despite the controversy that surrounded her, Lady Idina Hay and her husband, Josslyn, embraced the vibrant social scene of the British colonies in Kenya. This photograph, taken in 1926, captures a moment of mischief and happiness amidst the picturesque backdrop of their farm at Slains. The group's relaxed demeanor and the stunning landscape serve as a testament to the allure and intrigue of the Happy Valley Set during that era.

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