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Lady Idina Gordon

Lady Idina Gordon


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Lady Idina Gordon

Lady Idina Gordon pictured in 1921, the elder daughter of the late Lord De La Warr. After her first marriage to Euan Wallace, Idina married Captain Charles Gordon in 1919 and for some time after their marriage lived in British East Africa. She divorced Gordon and married Josslyn Hay, Earl of Errol in 1923. 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: 1921

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Media ID 14126281

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

1921 Bolter Errol Gordon Idina Infamous Josslyn Mischief Notorious


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this evocative black-and-white portrait, Lady Idina Gordon, eldest daughter of the late Lord De La Warr, is captured in 1921, a year before she would become an integral part of one of the most notorious and infamous chapters in British social history. At the time of this photograph, Lady Idina was still married to her second husband, Captain Charles Gordon. However, their union would not last long, and in 1919, she would marry Josslyn Hay, Earl of Errol, and the pair would move to British East Africa. The couple's time in Africa marked the beginning of Lady Idina's reputation for debauched decadence and white mischief. She and her new husband became central figures in the Happy Valley Set, a group of British expatriates living in Kenya known for their hedonistic lifestyle and disregard for societal norms. Lady Idina's serial marriages, scandalous behavior, and scandalous relationships 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 Iris Storm in Michael Arlen's The Green Hat. Despite the controversy surrounding her, Lady Idina's image continues to captivate and intrigue, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of white mischief, historical intrigue, and the allure of the infamous. This portrait, taken in 1921, stands as a testament to a woman who defied convention and left an indelible mark on history.

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Related Images


Josslyn and Idina Hay at Slains, their farm in Kenya
Josslyn and Idina Hay at Slains, their farm in Kenya
Lady Idina Sackville
Lady Idina Sackville
Lady Idina Wallace and her son by Madame Yevonde
Lady Idina Wallace and her son by Madame Yevonde
Lady Idina Hay & Josslyn Hay at Slains, Kenya
Lady Idina Hay & Josslyn Hay at Slains, Kenya
Lady Idina Hay at the Kenya Lido
Lady Idina Hay at the Kenya Lido
Lady Idina Sackville and Mr Euan Wallace
Lady Idina Sackville and Mr Euan Wallace
A group at Murrays including Lady Idina Gordon
A group at Murrays including Lady Idina Gordon
Lady Avice Sackville
Lady Avice Sackville
Lord Buckhurst, Lady Myra (Idina) and Lady Avice Sackville
Lord Buckhurst, Lady Myra (Idina) and Lady Avice Sackville
Lady Idina Gordon going big-game shooting
Lady Idina Gordon going big-game shooting
Wedding group in Nairobi featuring Lady Idina Gordon
Wedding group in Nairobi featuring Lady Idina Gordon
The Hon. Josslyn and Lady Idina Hay
The Hon. Josslyn and Lady Idina Hay

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