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08-Jan-2018 21:34

Many will know Idina as 'The Bolter', her nickname during her lifetime, and the title of the best-selling biography written about her by Frances Osborne (left, at a book signing), the Chancellor's (right) wife and Idina's great-granddaughter Idina, never one to play by the rules of her class, divorced Euan, left their two sons then aged three and four, and became a wild flapper, soaked in cocktails and wreathed in cigarette smoke.She reportedly taught one man how to make a pair of stockings slide to the floor by touching four strategic points on a woman’s skirt.Many will know Idina as ‘The Bolter’, her nickname during her lifetime, and the title of the best-selling biography written about her by Frances Osborne, the Chancellor’s wife and Idina’s great-granddaughter. The Pekinese at her feet was called Satan.’ Osborne isn’t the first to have been inspired by Idina’s mischief.Today, Frances Osborne says this portrait more than does justice to the spirit of her great-grandmother. Nancy Mitford named one of her characters ‘The Bolter’ because of her tendency to marry, change her mind and ‘bolt’ after a few months.Above, Sir William Orpen's portrait of her which recently sold for just over £1m Nearly a century on, the electricity between sitter and artist is palpable.

She kept cool with the help of iced gin and tonic carried around in a Thermos flask, and she liked to be naked apart from a ‘red and gold kikoi’ or sarong.

The Great War in Portraits, which debuts at the National Portrait Gallery next month, also tells the stories of some of the most fascinating participants, among them a Russian female soldier, a British nurse executed by the Germans and the first Nepalese recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Others, among them the striking Henry Tonks' series, Soldiers With Facial Wounds, document the experience of disfigured British soldiers and their treatment in the hands of Dr Harold Gilles - one of the founding fathers of modern cosmetic surgery.

In March 1919, she married briefly for a second time to an Army captain, and sailed with him to Africa.

He couldn’t keep up with her sexual energy, so she moved on to Josslyn Hay, eventually 22nd Earl of Erroll, a man as louche as her and eight years her junior whom she called ‘The Child’.

She kept cool with the help of iced gin and tonic carried around in a Thermos flask, and she liked to be naked apart from a ‘red and gold kikoi’ or sarong.The Great War in Portraits, which debuts at the National Portrait Gallery next month, also tells the stories of some of the most fascinating participants, among them a Russian female soldier, a British nurse executed by the Germans and the first Nepalese recipient of the Victoria Cross.Others, among them the striking Henry Tonks' series, Soldiers With Facial Wounds, document the experience of disfigured British soldiers and their treatment in the hands of Dr Harold Gilles - one of the founding fathers of modern cosmetic surgery.In March 1919, she married briefly for a second time to an Army captain, and sailed with him to Africa.He couldn’t keep up with her sexual energy, so she moved on to Josslyn Hay, eventually 22nd Earl of Erroll, a man as louche as her and eight years her junior whom she called ‘The Child’.Idina is also said to have been one of the bright young things with loose morals who inspired author Evelyn Waugh’s novel Vile Bodies.