The Yellow Earl
by Douglas Sutherland
Almost an Emperor, not quite a Gentleman
The 5th Earl of Lonsdale, Hugh Lowther, was perhaps the most famous English Lord in the world by the 1880s. His reckless spending of his vast fortune, his womanising, his love of fast-living, horses, hunting and boxing rocked the Edwardian aristocracy and has endeared him to risk-takers and bon-viveurs the world over ever since.
As a penniless, wayward, younger son who had not expected to inherit, Hugh had joined a travelling circus for a year after leaving Eton, then moved on to America, spending months buffalo-hunting. He pawned his birthright to make his fortune from cattle ranching in Wyoming and was practically destitute when the scheme failed.
But then his older brother unexpectedly died, Hugh took both the title and the vast fortune that went with it, and the rest is history: a close friend of Edward VII, a great public benefactor and an unforgettable showman in everything he did, his biography is a pacey, elegant and fascinating tribute to one of aristocracy’s greatest eccentrics.
104 Black & white photographs
Sep 03, 2015
About the Author:
Douglas Sutherland (1919-95), author and journalist, was born in Appleby, Westmoreland and had always been fascinated by the local tales of the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, as related by the tenants and miners of Whitehaven, and by the Lonsdale family who co-operated with him in this biography.
An accomplished journalist, generous habitué of Fleet Street’s El Vino and of Soho’s Colony Room, Sutherland lived life to the full and often on the edge. He had three wives and five children.
He worked for the London Evening Standard, and wrote several books including The English Gentleman. Sutherland shared many of the characteristics of the Earl of Lonsdale: he was physically brave, spent money like water, was a great raconteur and had a taste for fun and adventure. Sutherland had a distinguished war record, earning him the Military Cross.