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Lady Idina Hay & Josslyn Hay at Slains, Kenya

Lady Idina Hay & Josslyn Hay at Slains, Kenya


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Lady Idina Hay & Josslyn Hay at Slains, Kenya

Lady Idina Hay and her husband the Hon. Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll at their 2000 acre farm, Slains, in Gilgil, Kenya with friends. From left, Mr Trevor Sheen, Hon. Josslyn Hay, Lady Idina Hay, Mrs Guy Repton and Major Roberts.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 14126356

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Bolter Colonies Erroll Friends Idina Josslyn Kenya Major Mischief Repton Roberts Sheen Trevor 1926


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this photograph, Lady Idina Hay and her husband, the Hon. Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll, are seen enjoying a leisurely moment at their 2000-acre farm, Slains, located in Gilgil, Kenya. Surrounded by their friends, including Mr. Trevor Sheen, Mrs. Guy Repton, and Major Roberts, the group exudes an aura of mischief and happiness. The year is 1926, and Lady Idina Hay, with her five marriages and notorious reputation for debauchery and decadence, was a central figure in the infamous Happy Valley Set. This group of British expats living in the Kenyan colonies was known for their scandalous lifestyles and disregard for societal norms. Lady Idina Hay's exploits would later inspire various characters in popular literature. She was the model for The Bolter in Nancy Mitford's novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, as well as Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies and the character Iris Storm in Michael Arlen's The Green Hat. Despite the controversy surrounding her personal life, Lady Idina Hay and her husband, Earl Erroll, continued to reside in Kenya, living out their days amidst the beautiful landscapes of their farm at Slains. This photograph captures a brief moment of joy and camaraderie amidst the intrigue and scandal that would come to define their time in the Happy Valley Set.

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