Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW, UK
University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PA
39 Maddox St, Mayfair, London W1S 2PP, UK
The Honourable (Ralph) Edward Gathorne-Hardy (4 June 1901 – 18 June 1978) was a British Bohemian socialite. Rumour had it that Sir Anthony Eden was a lover of both Edward Sackville-West and Edward Gathorne-Hardy. Sackville-West was reminded of Eden when reading Mary Renault’s pioneering gay novel The Charioteer in 1953.
The second child of Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 3rd Earl of Cranbrook by his wife Lady Dorothy Boyle, the daughter of David Boyle, 7th Earl of Glasgow, he was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. One of the group designated by the press the 'Bright Young People' in the 1920s, he shared a flat at 39 Maddox Street in London with Brian Howard, which was so run-down that fungus grew on the dilapidated staircase. Although he was a respected antiquarian, specialising in 18th century literature, and worked for the booksellers Elkin Mathews, he remained impecunious, largely living off his elder brother, John David Gathorne-Hardy, 4th Earl of Cranbrook. He also worked at various colleges and for the British Council. After 1935, he lived in Athens, Cairo and Lebanon, returning to England in the late 1960s in poor health. He died aged 77 on 18 June 1978.
His brother was Robert Gathorne-Hardy and his nephew was Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.
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