Saturday, 7 July 2012

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LORD ERROLL - Errol Trzebinski, 2000

This is the biography of the man at the heart of the Happy Valley Murder. It seems as though his life in England was as debauched as his life in Kenya. Expelled from Eton, Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll gave up a chance at a career in the Foreign Office, an opportunity salvaged at great cost to his father, in order to marry Idina Sackville. The scandal they fled from propelled them towards a new life in Kenya. Idina, no saint herself, did at least encourage Erroll to make a go of the farm and they were, for a while successful, until their lifestyle inhibited their achievements.
After his divorce from Idina, Erroll married and then destroyed Mary Ramsay-Hill, before falling for Diana Broughton. This coincided with his increased political ambitions and there has always been much speculation as to which led to his violent demise. When Erroll’s body was found wedged into the foot well of his car by the side of the road, theories abounded, and still do.
Here, Trzebinski places the blame firmly at the feet of British Military Intelligence (Operation Highland Clearance). The mission, which she believes was undertaken to eliminate him, is chronicled with some vigour and like all theories, is easy to get behind, if you read only one side of the story.

What we do have in this book, though, is a rounding out of the character of Josslyn Hay. White Mischief shows him only as a bounder and a cad; this shows him mainly as a bounder and a cad.

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