Out in Africa Erroll went through other men's wives at a rapid pace but avoided the cocaine and morphine used by others in his circle. Munro was less wealthy than Grenfell and Brooke but from the same background. But, on the whole the book suffered from being extremely convoluted. Half an hour later after dropping her off, he was shot in his Buick. Aspinall and Goldsmith were ambitious and wanted to be rich. His 1937 'The Road to Oxiana' is still in print and was Bruce Chatwin's favourite book. Why has the gun never been found? Barnes informs us of the lost world of a small area of central Kenya in the time period of 1920 to 1955.
It seems lausible that he could have had, or acquired, a third. Never too decadent himself - he preferred to spend his evenings with the classics and a gramophone, although he had a fondness for the Ballets Russe - Hatton occasionally mixed with Josslyn Victor Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll, the Valley's leading light. Access code may be previously used. The dead man had been sleeping with his wife Diana - so there was a clear motive. And she has uncovered a plot that stretches from a dusty crossroads on the Ngong-Nairobi road to the heart of British power in Whitehall.
Corruption in the country is rife and any foreigner trying to stand up to it is run out of the country, for any Kenyan it can even lead to death. Has Not been price clipped. He died in a 1929 suicide pact with his mistress in a friend's New York apartment. It had all the makings of a gripping, glamorous murder mystery. The Duke of Windsor is one suggested, and perhaps predictable, member of this roll of shame.
In this gripping evocation of a glamorous, decadent and sinister life, Trzebinski uses her renowned biographer's skill to unlock the mystique surrounding the man, and the mystery enveloping his death. But it succeeds because Allen, inadvertently, taps into a fantasy of London upper class life that bears little relation to the truth but feels like a warm champagne bath to anyone who enjoyed 'Brideshead Revisited'' and wants a version with mobile phones and murder. Bad things also happened on the home front. It makes The Ghosts of Happy Valley a difficult read, as you struggle to keep track of what point in time Barnes is addressing not to mention who is who, and who was married to who. His icy, etched style and love of the esoteric — from nomads to Ernst Junger, Russian Futurism to Jackie Kennedy - made him great but in his lifetime he was known primarily as a travel writer. He returned to England and spent time in Cornwall, then in the early days of its life as an artist colony. When he recovered Grenfell rejoined the parentally approved path and signed up with the army.
He also wrote poems attacking the 'red faced majors at the base', in Siegfried Sassoon's phrase, but these are less well known. Not everyone was dressed up in a dinner jacket losing money at Berkley Square. Broughton is said to have visited the Carberry home after the murder, and confessed to a role in it while talking to the girl. I grew up largely in old early 20th century ex-colonial homes one farmhouse in particular resonates in Kenya and can still remember the scent of the cedarwood and dust after the rains over 20 years after leaving East Africa. In 1930 Wood threw himself under a train.
The killing of Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll, in 1941 gripped a nation caught up in the grind of war. The boo Happy Valley was a community in Kenya, between the wars, that was known for the British upper class who liked drinking, drugging, and climbing into bed with each others wives and husbands. Its main attraction is a nice photograph of Randolph Churchill as a young man before Winston's son got fat and red-faced. But golden youths made a comeback with writer Bruce Chatwin. The name Happy Valley gained notoriety in the 1920's and '30's from the lifestyle of some of the settlers. He got Susan Kilner pregnant so did the decent thing by marrying her. Sometimes there are even walls topped with slices of broken glass, in case anyone wishes to shred their hands and feet trying out that particular route in to steal whatever it is the wealthy Kikuyu bigwigs are protecting so fiercely.
His reputation rests on roman fleuve 'Alms for Oblivion' written in conscious imitation of Powell's superior 'A Dance to the Music of Time' series, which had begun thirteen years earlier in 1951. Months after the murder, Sir 'Jock' Delves Broughton stood trial for the murder of Erroll. He brought down leaping lions with seconds to spare on rich men's safaris, useful experience for the now forgotten East African campaign of the Great War. Finally I broke my book slump. Douglas Thompson's 2007 'The Hustlers: Gambling, Greed and the Perfect Con' is a good account of Aspinall's career up until the sale of the Clermont Club in the late 1960s. Bottle parties, swimming pool parties, paper chases, fatal car crashes, tuxedos and Brilliantine. Not- for the social and racial segregation.
It's apparent that this is another whole book, but it is disappointing that Erroll T. Her investigations lead her to astonishing conclusions about the true motive for his murder and a conspiracy of confusion that finds its source in Whitehall's War Office. The pair met in Kenya where Hatton decamped before the First World War to fail as a farmer but succeeded as a Great White Hunter. A 2009 authorised biography by Ion Trewin provided a fuller picture. As Erroll drove off, Delves Broughton shot him.
A man of action with a poetic side to him Grenfell tried hard to give meaning to his privileged life with a book of philosophy. Dust jacket complete, has rubbing to edges. Its rejection by publishers, orchestrated by his concerned mother, led to a breakdown. On the night of January 24 1941, Erroll was found shot dead in his car. Then put a new cigarette in its ivory holder and refresh your whisky and soda.
What could Joss have known that was damaging enough to justify such drastic action. Not all white Kenyans are obsessed by minor titles and raucous behavior, but a certain segment are, and thus we have this book which documents but does not enlighten. Erroll's death is, of course, better known to a more general public as the Happy Valley murder, with a plot of sex, sleaze and arrogance long pre-dating the 007 skulduggery now on offer. The authorities seemed satisfied with the highly sensationalised trial of the only suspect, Jock Broughton, the cuckolded husband of Erroll's last lover, Diana. Rather interesting history for me having done Quentin M's new version, Clouds in the Macedon Ranges near Hanging Rock.