How BBC’s Wedding Detectives unearthed a high-society tale of lust, hedonism and violent death

She was gorgeous. The young bride in the photograph caught my eye, but who was she? What was her story? The picture of the wedding of Sonya Paynter and Tim Bryant in 1959 that started the hunt

She was gorgeous. The young bride in the photograph caught my eye, but who was she? What was her story? 

I picked up the print on a whim, from a pile of lost black-and-white wedding portraits we had found and bought online. 

They were all of total strangers and this one had probably become detached from the family when somebody died and their house was cleared.

I had no idea it would lead to an astonishing tale of high-society scandal, wild parties, free love, fortune-hunters, crime and even a killing. 

Einstein, Marconi and Lawrence of Arabia all feature in the story – as does Mary Wesley and her racy novel The Camomile Lawn,

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