The Bolter
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The Bolter : Idina Sackville - The Woman Who Scandalised 1920s Society and Became White Mischief's Infamous Seductress

3.66 (3,113 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

On Friday 25th May, 1934, a forty-one-year-old woman walked into the lobby of Claridge's Hotel to meet the nineteen-year-old son whose face she did not know. Fifteen years earlier, as the First World War ended, Idina Sackville shocked high society by leaving his multimillionaire father to run off to Africa with a near penniless man. An inspiration for Nancy Mitford's character The Bolter, painted by William Orpen, and photographed by Cecil Beaton, Sackville went on to divorce a total of five times, yet died with a picture of her first love by her bed. Her struggle to reinvent her life with each new marriage left one husband murdered and branded her the 'high priestess' of White Mischief's bed-hopping Happy Valley in Kenya. Sackville's life was so scandalous that it was kept a secret from her great-granddaughter Frances Osborne. Now, Osborne tells the moving tale of betrayal and heartbreak behind Sackville's road to scandal and return, painting a dazzling portrait of high society in the early twentieth century.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 26mm | 281.23g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Section: 16, b/w pix
  • 1844084809
  • 9781844084807
  • 14,473

Review quote

The Bolter is the real Idina's story told by her great-grand-daughter Frances Osborne. It whirls the reader through the London social scene during the First World War and the decadence of Kenya's Happy Valley via Idina's five marriages and innumerable love affairs. I loved it. Alice O'Keeffe, Amazon Passionate and headstrong, Lady Idina was determined to be free even if the cost was scandal and ruin. Frances Osborne has brilliantly captured not only one woman's life but an entire lost society. Amanda Foreman Rich, title, witty, beguiling, Lady Idina Sackville had all the gifts, except, perhaps, judgement. Frances Osborne has written an enthralling account of a dazzling, troubled, life. Julian Fellowes ** 'On the literary pages, the wife of current shadow chancellor George Osborne, Frances, stepped into the limelight, as her new book, The Bolter, attracted the most reviews THE BOOKSELLERshow more

About Frances Osborne

Born in London in 1969, Frances Osborne worked as a barrister, investment research analyst and journalist before writing her first book, Lilla's Feast. She is married to George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.show more

Review Text

The Bolter is the real Idina's story told by her great-grand-daughter Frances Osborne. It whirls the reader through the London social scene during the First World War and the decadence of Kenya's Happy Valley via Idina's five marriages and innumerable love affairs. I loved it. Alice O'Keeffe, Amazonshow more

Rating details

3,113 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 20% (608)
4 40% (1,237)
3 31% (954)
2 8% (250)
1 2% (64)

Our customer reviews

I found it hard to relate to the characters in the book at the beginning, my connection to the main character grew stronger as the book progressed. The pictures were a welcomed addition to the book and helped me envision Idina's life. It is a tragic story told from a storyteller's point of view. The storyteller seems to be detached as if telling facts which I think contributed to the difficulty I experienced at the beginning. Overall a good readshow more
by mona abed algani
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