- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Virago (29 Dec. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844084809
- ISBN-13: 978-1844084807
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Bolter: Idina Sackville - The woman who scandalised 1920s Society and became White Mischief's infamous seductress Paperback – 29 Dec 2008
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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 BOOKSELLER)
* 'This is a truly astonishing book. Frances Osborne has not just brought to life a dizzyingly rich and scandalous slice of social history, she has produced a tragic and deeply moving tale as well. It is far more gripping than any novel I have read for years' Antony BeevorSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
These things were great, Frances Osborne makes a lot of affairs and bed hopping very easy to keep up with and digest. She also brings in some really interesting social history such as what could and couldn't constitute the rights for divorce and what counted as adultery. She looked at the women suffragettes which were something that Idina and her mother Muriel were very much involved with. It also looks at how war affected people not just in terms of rations but in terms of love and affairs of the heart. All this was wonderfully written and all over too quickly. However for me it was the background on Idina herself along with her childhood, parents and the society she grew up in and how they made her into the character which she became that I found so fascinating.Read more ›
Its the tale of a woman during the first world war and after. Her life seems to be fairly normal but then she becomes a scarlet woman after she bolts from her first marriage.
She runs away from her first marriage and sets off on a life of debauchery and many more marriages. But she pays a heavy personal price for that life.
Set in both England and Kenya among the upper classes who did not need to work, they just partied and had fun.
That fun often went way beyond what was accpetable and the life of Idina Sackville is a glimpse into a world I had no idea existed.
This is well worth the read and all the more riveting because it opens a door into a completely different world.
At the end of the book you can decide whethe r she was pushed into that life by circumstance or whether she was never the sort to settle quietly into the role of a good wife.
I was a bit concerned that as the author was her great-grand daughter she would either try to whitewash Idina's behaviour or embelish it for greater effect. In fact she did neither, instead she sought to understand her but in doing so encountered the fact that the morals of the day were more difficult and more complex than today's society. Whilst Idina married her first husband for love she had to accept that he would bed other women, so she worked hard to hold his interest without being critical of his behaviour. Nowadays, I doubt if any sector of society would readily accept that level of infidelity almost from the start of a marriage. Idina also signed the equivalent of a pre-nup agreement so leaving her extremely wealthly husband could not have been an easy decision. Add to this the fact she left her very young children and agreed to her husband not to see them again, even through she was their main carer and he had hardly seen them in the previous year. All in all Idina's decision does seem very reckless, thus the author's seeks not only to find out why but to explain it to us. Of course after the decision was made Idiana had to live with the consequences and the fact that she was now of great interest to the world media. Unlike today Idina did not have a publicist to handle things for her and her decision to exile herself to Kenya may have been partly to remove herself from this media interest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had Euan written a more detailed diary,Mrs Osborne would have had more information to draw from, with regard to Idinas' life with Euan. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Clark
I enjoyed reading this book, it is an 'easy read' - ideal for taking on holiday for instance. The insights into the early colonial set-up in Kenya are also interesting. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Merry Lips
Fascinating biography of someone who appears as a shadowy figure in many books about Kenya and Happy valley. She deserved her own story to be toldPublished 9 months ago by Susan Jackson
This is a cracking story! Idina Sackville is such a character. She lives her life with freedom and effortless determination to do as she wishes. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sophi
I could not put this astonishing biography down. What a life Idina lived: so fantastical that it would not seem out of place on the fiction shelf, but instead it is all true. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Helen Blundell
I enjoyed this book. I liked the descriptive element and the well drawn character also the pace set from beginning to end. I shall read another book by this author.Published 13 months ago by Heather
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