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The Hon. Josslyn and Lady Idina Hay

The Hon. Josslyn and Lady Idina Hay


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The Hon. Josslyn and Lady Idina Hay

The Hon. Josslyn Hay, later Earl of Erroll, and his wife, the former Lady Idina Sackville pictured at Gil Gil, Kenya Colony in British East Africa where they built a farm, Clouds. The Tatler reports that Josslyn is making a polo ground at an elevation of 9000 feet above sea level. 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: 1925

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Media ID 14126287

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Clouds Colonies Colony Erroll Gordon Idina Infamous Josslyn Kenya Mischief Notorious Sackville Tatler 1925


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this photograph, The Hon. Josslyn Hay, later Earl of Erroll, and his wife, Lady Idina Sackville, are seen enjoying the picturesque landscape of Gil Gil in the British East Africa Colony of Kenya. The year is 1925, and the couple is making headlines with their ambitious project to build a polo ground at an impressive altitude of 9,000 feet above sea level. Lady Idina, a five-time married woman, would later become infamous as a key member of the notorious Happy Valley Set. Her scandalous reputation for debauchery and decadence would inspire numerous literary characters, including 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. Idina's move to Kenya with her third husband, Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll, marked the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. The image captures the couple's carefree spirit and adventurous nature, as they embrace the colonial lifestyle in the beautiful yet challenging terrain of the African countryside. The Tatler reported on their endeavors, highlighting their determination to create a polo ground in such a high-altitude location. The photograph stands as a testament to their resilience and the allure of the colonial life in Kenya during the 1920s. This evocative portrait of The Hon. Josslyn Hay and Lady Idina Sackville at Gil Gil in 1925 offers a glimpse into a bygone era, filled with mischief, adventure, and the intrigue of the British colonial experience in Africa.

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