• Biography & Autobiography

The Bolter

Idina Sackville - The woman who scandalised 1920s Society and became White Mischief's infamous seductress
Author: Frances Osborne
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0748111476
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 358
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.

    • True Crime

White Mischief

The Murder of Lord Erroll
Author: James Fox
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1480489174
Category: True Crime
Page: 338
View: 4511
The riveting true story of decadence, deception, and murder among British aristocrats in colonial Kenya In 1941, with London burning in the Blitz, a group of hedonistic English nobles partied shamelessly in Kenya. Far removed from falling bombs, the wealthy elites of “Happy Valley” indulged in morphine, alcohol, and unrestricted sex, often with their friends’ spouses. But the party turned sinister in the early hours of a January morning for Josslyn Hay, Lord Erroll, who had been enjoying the favors of the beautiful young wife of a middle-aged neighbor. Hay was found dead, a bullet in his brain. The murder shocked the close-knit community of wealthy expatriates in Nairobi and shined a harsh light on their louche lifestyle. Three decades later, author James Fox researched the slaying of Lord Erroll, an unsolved crime still sheathed in a thick cloud of rumor and innuendo. What he discovered was both unsettling and luridly compelling. White Mischief is a spellbinding true-crime classic, a tale of privileged excess and the wages of sin, and an account of one writer’s determined effort to crack a cold and craven killing.

    • History

The Ghosts of Happy Valley

Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats
Author: Juliet Barnes
Publisher: Aurum Press Limited
ISBN: 1781311390
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 420
DIV Happy Valley was the name given to the Wanjohi Valley in the Kenya Highlands, where a small community of affluent, hedonistic white expatriates settled between the wars. While Kenya's early colonial days have been immortalised by farming pioneers like Lord Delamere and Karen Blixen, and the pioneering aviator Beryl Markham, Happy Valley became infamous under the influence of troubled socialite, Lady Idina Sackville, whose life was told in Frances Osborne's bestselling The Bolter. The era culminated with the notorious murder of the Earl of Erroll in 1941, the investigation of which laid bare the Happy Valley set's decadence and irresponsibility, chronicled in another bestseller, James Fox's White Mischief. But what is left now? In a remarkable and indefatigable archaeological quest Juliet Barnes, who has lived in Kenya all her life and whose grandparents knew some of the Happy Valley characters, has set out to explore Happy Valley to find the former homes and haunts of this extraordinary and transient set of people. With the help of a remarkable African guide and further assisted by the memories of elderly former settlers, she finds the remains of grand residences tucked away beneath the mountains and speaks to local elders who share first-hand memories of these bygone times. Nowadays these old homes, she discovers, have become tumbledown dwellings for many African families, school buildings, or their ruins have almost disappeared without trace - a revelation of the state of modern Africa that makes the gilded era of the Happy Valley set even more fantastic. A book to set alongside such singular evocations of Africa’s strange colonial history as The Africa House, The Ghosts of Happy Valley is a mesmerising blend of travel narrative, social history and personal quest. /div

    • English literature

The Spectator


Author: N.A
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: English literature
Page: N.A
View: 1419

    • Biography & Autobiography

The Temptress

The scandalous life of Alice, Countess de Janzé
Author: Paul Spicer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0857200100
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 1735
In Kenya's 'Happy Valley' in the years spanning the 1920s to the 1940s no one paid too much attention to the privileged colonial set as they farmed their estates, partied until dawn and indulged in extra-marital affairs. Not until Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll, was shot dead at the wheel of his Buick in the early hours of 24 January 1941. Some said the good-looking womaniser had it coming. He was a philanderer who could have had any number of enemies among cuckolded husbands who wanted revenge. Ageing Jock Delves Broughton stood trial for Erroll's murder but was acquitted and the mystery remained unsolved - until now. American heiress Alice de Janzé had been conducting a clandestine affair with Joss for years. Married into French aristocracy, her stunning beauty was to prove a fatal lure to men of adventure. Previously tried by a French court for shooting one of her lovers, scandal followed her wherever she went. She arrived in Kenya as a newly married Countess in the 1920s, but by 1941 she had turned forty and the years of partying had taken their toll. Pushed aside by Erroll for younger lovers, and increasingly isolated, Alice threw herself into an act of desperation, resulting in his murder and her own tragic demise. The Temptressnot only solves the mystery of Josslyn Hay's murder with the utmost conviction - it eloquently paints a portrait of a volatile, captivating woman.

    • Fiction

Park Lane

A Novel
Author: Frances Osborne
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345803280
Category: Fiction
Page: 322
View: 9553
The bestselling author of "The Bolter" returns with a delicious novel about two determined women whose lives collide in the halls of a pedigreed London town home. But unbeknownst to both of the young women, the choices they make will connect their chances at future happiness.

Happy Valley


Author: Nicholas Best
Publisher: Thistle Publishing
ISBN: 9781909869196
Category:
Page: 234
View: 1263
The definitive story of the British in Kenya, from the explorer Joseph Thomson, whose exploits inspired King Solomon's Mines, to the decadent Happy Valley set of the 1930s, the murder of Lord Erroll, and the Mau Mau revolt of the 1950s. "Nicholas Best tells an immensely entertaining tale" - Max Hastings, Evening Standard "Erudite, amusing and, even, gossipy" - Nigel Dempster, Punch "First class... quite hilariously funny!'" - Melbourne Herald "Anyone with experience of Kenya, past or present, resident or tourist, will enjoy reading Happy Valley" - Country Life

    • Biography & Autobiography

The Legend of Colton H Bryant


Author: Alexandra Fuller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1847398693
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 1490
Colton H. Bryant grew up in Wyoming and never once wanted to leave it. Wyoming loved him and he loved it back. Two things helped Colton get through school and the neighbourhood bullies: his best friend Jake and his favourite mantra: Mind over matter-- which meant to him: if you don't mind, it don't matter. Colton and Jake grew up wanting nothing more that the freedom to sleep out under the great Wyoming night sky, and to be just like Jake's dad, Bill, a strong, gentle man of few words who can ride rodeo like nobody's business. When Colton started work as a driller on a rig, despite his young wife begging him to quit, he claimed it was in his blood. Colton did die young and he died on the rig -- falling to his death because the oil company neglected to spend the $2,000 on safety rails. His family received no compensation. The strong, sad story of Colton H. Bryant's life could not be told without the telling of the land that grew him, where there are still such things as cowboys roaming the plains, where it is relationships that get you through and where a simple, soulful and just man named Colton H. Bryant lived and died.


    • Fiction

The Magician's Apprentice


Author: Trudi Canavan
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 0316069965
Category: Fiction
Page: 800
View: 1709
Taking place hundreds of years before the events of The Magicians' Guild, The Magician's Apprentice is the new novel set in the world of Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy. In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer. Her mother would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn. When the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage get violent, Tessia unconsciously taps unknown reserves of magic to defend herself. Lord Dakon, the local magician, takes Tessia under his wing as an apprentice. The hours are long and the work arduous, but soon an exciting new world opens up to her. There are fine clothes and servants and - to Tessia's delight - regular trips to the great city of Imardin. However, Tessia is about to discover that her magical gifts bring with them a great deal of responsibility. For a storm is approaching that threatens to tear her world apart.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Lilla's Feast

One Woman's True Story of Love and War in the Orient
Author: Frances Osborne
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0307431398
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 432
At the end of her life, Frances Osborne’s one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother Lilla was as elegant as ever–all fitted black lace and sparkling-white diamonds. To her great-grandchildren, Lilla was both an ally and a mysterious wonder. Her bedroom was filled with treasures from every exotic corner of the world. But she rarely mentioned the Japanese prison camps in which she spent much of World War II, or the elaborate cookbook she wrote to help her survive behind the barbed wire. Beneath its polished surface, Lilla’s life had been anything but effortless. Born in 1882 to English parents in the beautiful North China port city of Chefoo, Lilla was an identical twin. Growing up, she knew both great privilege and deprivation, love and its absence. But the one constant was a deep appreciation for the power of food and place. From the noodles of Shanghai to the chutney of British India and the roasts of England, good food and sensuous surroundings, Lilla was raised to believe, could carry one a long way toward happiness. Her story is brimming with the stuff of good fiction: distant locales, an improvident marriage, an evil mother-in-law, a dramatic suicide, and two world wars. Lilla’s remarkable cookbook, which she composed while on the brink of starvation, makes no mention of wartime rations, of rotten vegetables and donkey meat. In the world this magical food journal, now housed in the Imperial War Museum in London, everyone is warm and safe in their homes, and the pages are filled with cream puffs, butterscotch, and comforting soup. In its writing, Lilla was able to transform the darkest moments into scrumptious escape. Lilla’s Feast is a rich evocation of a bygone world, the inspiring story of an ordinary woman who tackled the challenges life threw in her path with an extraordinary determination. From the Hardcover edition.

Lilla's Feast


Author: Frances Osbourne
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781856869423
Category:
Page: N.A
View: 9579
The tale of Lilla, the author's great-grandmother, begins with her birth in Chefoo in China in 1882, where she lived a charmed and Bohemian expat life, the younger of a set of 'heavenly twins' from a spirited, unvictorian family.

    • Juvenile Fiction

Wild Magic


Author: Cat Weatherill
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802722553
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Page: 288
View: 1379
When the Pied Piper enchanted the children of Hamelin and led them away, Mari and her brother, Jakob, followed his song. Now they are trapped in a beautiful but cruel world inhabited by a horrid Beast. Finding a way to escape will require some wild magic, in this powerful story of a family torn apart by tragedy, and the magical adventure that heals them.

    • Body, Mind & Spirit

Child of Happy Valley

A Memoir
Author: Juanita Carberry,Nicola Tyrer
Publisher: Random House Uk Limited
ISBN: 9780099281399
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Page: 193
View: 2343
An astonishing and entertaining memoir about a childhood in White Mischief Kenya.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries)


Author: Barbara Goldsmith
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393079767
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 8734
The bestselling, "excellent…poignant—and scientifically lucid—portrait" (New York Times Book Review) of the remarkable Marie Curie. Through family interviews, diaries, letters, and workbooks that had been sealed for over sixty years, Barbara Goldsmith reveals the Marie Curie behind the myth—an all-too-human woman struggling to balance a spectacular scientific career, a demanding family, the prejudice of society, and her own passionate nature. Obsessive Genius is a dazzling portrait of Curie, her amazing scientific success, and the price she paid for fame.

    • History

Too Close to the Sun

The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton
Author: Sara Wheeler
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588365999
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 2715
Denys Finch Hatton was adored by women and idolized by men. A champion of Africa, legendary for his good looks, his charm, and his prowess as a soldier, lover, and hunter, Finch Hatton inspired Karen Blixen to write the unforgettable stories in Out of Africa. Now esteemed British biographer Sara Wheeler tells the truth about this extraordinarily charismatic adventurer. Born to an old aristocratic family that had gambled away most of its fortune, Finch Hatton grew up in a world of effortless elegance and boundless power. Tall and graceful, with the soul of a poet and an athlete’s relaxed masculinity, he became a hero without trying at Eton and Oxford. In 1910, searching for novelty and danger, Finch Hatton arrived in British East Africa and fell in love–with a continent, with a landscape, with a way of life that was about to change forever. Wheeler brilliantly conjures the mystical beauty of Kenya at a time when teeming herds of wild animals roamed unmolested across pristine savannah. No one was more deeply attuned to this beauty than Finch Hatton–and no one more bitterly mourned its passing when the outbreak of World War I engulfed the region in a protracted, bloody guerrilla conflict. Finch Hatton was serving as a captain in the Allied forces when he met Karen Blixen in Nairobi and embarked on one of the great love affairs of the twentieth century. With delicacy and grace, Wheeler teases out truth from fiction in the liaison that Blixen herself immortalized in Out of Africa. Intellectual equals, bound by their love for the continent and their inimitable sense of style, Finch Hatton and Blixen were genuine pioneers in a land that was quickly being transformed by violence, greed, and bigotry. Ever restless, Finch Hatton wandered into a career as a big-game hunter and became an expert bush pilot; his passion that led to his affair with the notoriously unconventional aviatrix Beryl Markham. But Markham was no more able to hold him than Blixen had been. Mesmerized all his life by the allure of freedom and danger, Finch Hatton was, writes Wheeler, “the open road made flesh.” In painting a portrait of an irresistible man, Sara Wheeler has beautifully captured the heady glamour of the vanished paradise of colonial East Africa. In Too Close to the Sun she has crafted a book that is as ravishing as its subject. From the Hardcover edition.

    • Biography & Autobiography

West with the Night


Author: Beryl Markham
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453237917
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 1436
The classic memoir of Africa, aviation, and adventure—the inspiration for Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun and “a bloody wonderful book” (Ernest Hemingway). Beryl Markham’s life story is a true epic. Not only did she set records and break barriers as a pilot, she shattered societal expectations, threw herself into torrid love affairs, survived desperate crash landings—and chronicled everything. A contemporary of Karen Blixen (better known as Isak Dinesen, the author of Out of Africa), Markham left an enduring memoir that soars with astounding candor and shimmering insights. A rebel from a young age, the British-born Markham was raised in Kenya’s unforgiving farmlands. She trained as a bush pilot at a time when most Africans had never seen a plane. In 1936, she accepted the ultimate challenge: to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west, a feat that fellow female aviator Amelia Earhart had completed in reverse just a few years before. Markham’s successes and her failures—and her deep, lifelong love of the “soul of Africa”—are all told here with wrenching honesty and agile wit. Hailed as “one of the greatest adventure books of all time” by Newsweek and “the sort of book that makes you think human beings can do anything” by the New York Times, West with the Night remains a powerful testament to one of the iconic lives of the twentieth century.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy


Author: Frances Kiernan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393348520
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 848
View: 6286
A revealing portrait of the dramatic life of writer and intellectual Mary McCarthy. From her Partisan Review days to her controversial success as the author of The Group, to an epic libel battle with Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy brought a nineteenth-century scope and drama to her emblematic twentieth-century life. Dubbed by Time as "quite possibly the cleverest woman America has ever produced," McCarthy moved in a circle of ferociously sharp-tongued intellectuals—all of whom had plenty to say about this diamond in their midst. Frances Kiernan's biography does justice to one of the most controversial American intellectuals of the twentieth century. With interviews from dozens of McCarthy's friends, former lovers, literary and political comrades-in-arms, awestruck admirers, amused observers, and bitter adversaries, Seeing Mary Plain is rich in ironic judgment and eloquent testimony. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000 and a Washington Post Book World "Rave".

    • Biography & Autobiography

The Last Mrs. Astor: A New York Story


Author: Frances Kiernan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393078841
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 4722
"Kiernan's sharp-eyed biography brings back a woman who, far into her 90s, relished the dance of life."—O Magazine The fabulous life of Brooke Astor, a pioneer of philanthropy and for decades a luminary of New York society. Hers is a story out of Edith Wharton. After a disastrous early marriage, Brooke Astor wedded the notoriously ill-tempered Vincent Astor, who died in 1959. In a highly publicized courtroom battle, Brooke fought off an attempt to break Vincent's will, which left some $67 million to the Vincent Astor Foundation. As the foundation's president, Brooke would use this legacy to benefit New York, where the Astor fortune had been made.Brooke would personally visit each grant applicant and charm anyone she met. At her one-hundredth birthday, princes and presidents honored her, but in 2006 a grandson petitioned the courts to have his father removed as Brooke's guardian. Once again an Astor court battle became the stuff of headlines. This biography—based on firsthand knowledge and interviews with Brooke's friends and the heads of New York's great cultural institutions—gives us back the woman so loved and admired, whose hands-on approach would inspire future philanthropists.

    • Fiction

Restless

A Novel
Author: William Boyd
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781608190775
Category: Fiction
Page: 336
View: 3030
A masterful and thrilling espionage novel from one of the most talented authors of his generation. Full of tension and drama, emotion and history, this is storytelling at its finest. Now a major TV movie adaptation by The Sundance Channel and the BBC. It is Paris, 1939. Twenty-eight year old Eva Delectorskaya is at the funeral of her beloved younger brother. Standing among her family and friends she notices a stranger. Lucas Romer is a patrician looking Englishman with a secretive air and a persuasive manner. He also has a mysterious connection to Kolia, Eva's murdered brother. Romer recruits Eva and soon she is traveling to Scotland to be trained as a spy and work for his underground network. After a successful covert operation in Belgium, she is sent to New York City, where she is involved in manipulating the press in order to shift American public sentiment toward getting involved in WWII. Three decades on and Eva has buried her dangerous history. She is now Sally Gilmartin, a respectable English widow, living in a picturesque Cotswold village. No one, not even her daughter Ruth, knows her real identity. But once a spy, always a spy. Sally has far too many secrets, and she has no one to trust. Before it is too late, she must confront the demons of her past. This time though she can't do it alone, she needs Ruth's help. Restless is a thrilling espionage novel set during the Second World War and a haunting portrait of a female spy. Full of tension and drama, emotion and history, this is storytelling at its finest.