NUTTERS and BOLTERS.
I've just finished 'The Bolter'. But if I’d been aware of the identity of the author the charity shop would be 50p worse off.
Frances Osborne is the Tory wife of George - the odious ex member of the Bullingdon club (no1 in the pic). He was a few years later than his mates Dave and Boris.
Fragrant Frances discovered that her great grandmother was Idina Sackville, the scandalous, five times married, gin-fuelled, orgy loving member of the ‘Happy Valley’ social set in 1930s Kenya - as portrayed in the film 'White Mischief'.
In spite of the stigma of her divorced mother, Idina managed to catch and marry (in1913) one of the richest men in Britain. They were a promiscuous lot.
The 'cinq à sept’ referred to the early evening shagging session.
Why this time?
Because it was just after tea when the ladies unleashed their stays and peeled off layers of undergarments before changing for dinner. So it was practical rather than passionate.
Only married women were chosen so that surprise pregnancies could be kept in the family. Stately homes were designed with this debauchery in mind - they had a special door leading from the man's dressing room to the corridor.
I enjoyed this book for all the wrong reasons. The lives of the hedonistic rich who introduced the concept of binge drinking to the world and set the standard for bacchanalian orgies was undeniably fascinating.
Idina was a despicable person - but she did start the East Grinstead suffragette movement, build two plantations in Africa and pursue an intrepid daredevil lifestyle with no thought for personal safety.
She also had a sort of social conscience - which is more than can be said for her great grand daughter's husband.