Denys Finch Hatton

Denys Finch Hatton

Denys Finch Hatton

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Denys George Finch Hatton (24 April 1887 - 14 May 1931) was a big-game hunter, and the lover of Karen Blixen (also known by her pen name as Isak Dinesen), who wrote about him in her autobiographical book Out of Africa first published in 1937. In the book, his name is hyphenated: "Finch-Hatton".

Early life

Finch Hatton was a son of Henry Stormont Finch Hatton, 13th Earl of Winchilsea, by his wife, the former Anne "Nan" Codrington, daughter of Sir Henry Codrington, an Admiral of the British Fleet. The second son and third child, he was educated at Eton College, and Brasenose College, Oxford. At Eton College, he was Captain of the cricket Eleven, Keeper of the Field and the Wall (two major sports played at Eton), President of the Prefects Society called Pop, and Secretary of the Music Society.

In 1910, after a trip to South Africa, he traveled to British East Africa, and bought some land on the western side of the Great Rift Valley near what is now Eldoret. He turned over the investment to a partner, and spent his time hunting.

Relationship with Blixen

Finch Hatton was not known to have had any serious romances before he met Blixen. They were introduced at the Muthaiga Club on 5 April 1918. Soon afterwards he was assigned to military service in Egypt. On his return to Kenya after the Armistice, he developed a close friendship with Blixen and her Swedish husband, Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke. He left Africa again in 1920, but returned in 1922, investing...
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