Samuel Alexander The Australian-born British philosopher Samuel Alexander (1859–1938) was originally an Hegelian whose outlook gradually shifted towards realism. He tutored at Lincoln College, Oxford, for more than a decade before accepting in 1893 a professorship at the University of Manchester, where he remained for the rest of his career. A former President of the Aristotelian Society (1908–11), Alexander joined Gilbert Murray and H. Wildon Carr in urging academic philosophers to endorse their appeal to the Home Secretary for BR to be assigned the status of a first-division prisoner (see Papers 14: 395).
George Allen & Unwin Ltd., founded by Stanley Unwin in 1914, was BR’s chief British publisher, had published Principles of Social Reconstruction in 1916, and was in the process of publishing Roads to Freedom (1918) while BR was in Brixton.
(Reginald) Clifford Allen (1889–1939; Baron Allen of Hurtwood, 1932) was a socialist politician and publicist who joined the Cambridge University Fabian Society while studying at Peterhouse College (1908–11). After graduating he became active in the Independent Labour Party in London and helped establish a short-lived labour newspaper, the Daily Citizen. During the war Allen was an inspiring and effective leader of the C.O. movement as chairman of the No-Conscription Fellowship, which he co-founded with Fenner Brockway in November 1914. Court-martialled and imprisoned three times after his claim for absolute exemption from war service was rejected, Allen became desperately ill during his last spell of incarceration. He was finally released from the second division of Winchester Prison on health grounds in December 1917, but not before contracting the tuberculosis with which he was finally diagnosed in September 1918. He was dogged by ill health for the rest of his life. BR had enormous affection and admiration for Allen (e.g., 68 in Papers 13, 46 in Papers 14), a trusted wartime political associate. From February 1919 until March 1920 he even shared Allen’s Battersea apartment. A close friendship was soured, however, by Allen’s rejection of BR’s unforgiving critique of the Bolshevik regime, which both men witnessed at first hand with the British Labour Delegation to Russia in May 1920 (see Papers 15: 507). Yet Allen was far from revolutionary himself and did not even identify with the left wing of the ILP (which he chaired in the early 1920s). He was elevated to the peerage as a supporter of Ramsay MacDonald’s National Government, an administration despised by virtually the entire labour movement. Although Allen’s old intimacy with BR was never restored after the Russia trip, any lingering estrangement did not inhibit him from enrolling his daughter, Joan Colette (“Polly”) at the Russells’ Beacon Hill School.
Lady Priscilla Annesley (1870–1941), second wife of Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl of Annesley (1831–1908) and mother of Lady Constance Malleson. Colette described her mother as “among the most beautiful women of her day” with a love of bright colours and walking (After Ten Years [London: Cape, 1931], pp. 12–14).
Annotations by Bertrand Russell In the late 1940s, when BR was going through his archives, and in the 1950s when he was revising his Autobiography, he would occasionally annotate letters. He did this to sixteen of the Brixton letters. Links to them are gathered here for convenient access to these new texts. In the annotations to the letters they are always followed by “(BR’s note.)” Would that he annotated more!
Letter 2, note 5 happy.
The Attic The flat at 6 Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1, rented by Colette and her husband, Miles Malleson. The house which contained this flat is no longer standing. “The spacious and elegant facades of Mecklenburgh Square began to be demolished in 1950. The houses on the north side were banged into dust in 1958. The New Attic was entirely demolished” (“Letters to Bertrand Russell from Constance Malleson, 1916–1969”, p. 109; typescript in RA).
Marie Blanche (1891–1973) studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts where she met Colette. She sang as well as acted and had a successful career on the London stage in the 1920s. A photograph of her appeared in The Times, 20 March 1923, p. 16.
Boismaison Colette and BR vacationed at a house, The Avenue, owned by Mrs. Agnes Woodhouse and her husband, in the countryside near Ashford Carbonel, Shropshire, in August 1917. They nicknamed the house “Boismaison”. Agnes Woodhouse took in paying guests. Their first visit was idyllic. They returned for other vacations — in 1918 before he entered prison and in April 1919. Their plan to go soon after he got out of prison failed because their relationship faltered for a time. They discussed returning in the summer of 1919 — a booking was even made for 12–19 July — but in the end they didn’t go. See S. Turcon, “Then and Now: Bertie and Colette’s Escapes to the Peak District and Welsh Borderlands”, Russell 34 (2014): 117–30.
Sir (Thomas) Vansittart Bowater (1862–1938), politician and businessman, was Lord Mayor of London, 1913–14, and Conservative M.P. for the City of London, 1924–38. He was Chairman of the Visiting Committee of Brixton Prison in 1918. Bowater was only peripherally involved in the affairs of his family’s successful newsprint business, but he was active in the public life of the City for many years before he was elected Lord Mayor by his fellow aldermen. As the holder of that prestigious but largely honorary office at the outbreak of war, Bowater helped raise a new City of London volunteer regiment and organized emergency aid for Belgian refugees. See Oxford DNB.
Dorothy Eugénie Brett (1883–1977), painter, benefitted from the patronage of Ottoline Morrell, who set up a studio for her at Garsington Manor. She lived there for three years (1916–19), becoming friends with J. Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield, among other visitors to the Morrells’ country home. Brett was the daughter of Liberal politician and courtier Viscount Esher. Notwithstanding her generous encouragement of Brett’s work, Ottoline could become impatient with her guest’s acute deafness, about which BR wrote compassionately in Letter 88. BR’s note below that letter in Auto. 2: 93 reads: “The lady to whom the above letter is addressed was a daughter of Lord Esher but was known to all her friends by her family name of Brett. At the time when I wrote the above letter, she was spending most of her time at Garsington with the Morrells. She went later to New Mexico in the wake of D.H. Lawrence.”
Brixton Prison Located in southwest London Brixton is the capital’s oldest prison. It opened in 1820 as the Surrey House of Correction for minor offenders of both sexes, but became a women-only convict prison in the 1850s. Brixton was a military prison from 1882 until 1898, after which it served as a “local” prison for male offenders sentenced to two years or less, and as London’s main remand centre for those in custody awaiting trial. The prison could hold up to 800 inmates. Originally under local authority jurisdiction, local prisons were transferred to Home Office control in 1878 in an attempt to establish uniform conditions of confinement. These facilities were distinct from “convict” prisons reserved for more serious or repeat offenders sentenced to longer terms of penal servitude.
Charlie Dunbar Broad (1887–1971), British philosopher, studied at Trinity College, Cambridge (1906–10), where he came in contact with BR, whose work had the greatest influence on him, though he was taught primarily by W.E. Johnson and J.M.E. McTaggart. (He wrote the definitive refutation of McTaggart’s philosophy after the latter’s death.) In 1911 BR examined Broad’s fellowship dissertation, which was published as Perception, Physics, and Reality (1914) and which BR reviewed in Mind in 1918 (15 in Papers 8). BR reviewed more books by Broad in the 1920s, and Broad returned the favour over the decades. Outstanding among his reviews was that of the first volume of BR’s Autobiography in The Philosophical Review 77 (1968): 455–73. From 1911 to 1920 Broad taught at St. Andrews University; in 1920 he moved to Bristol as Professor of Philosophy before returning to Trinity in 1923, where, as Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy, he remained for the rest of his life. He wrote extensively on a wide range of philosophical topics, including ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and psychical research. His philosophical writings are marked by the impartiality and clarity with which he stated, revised, and assessed the arguments and theories with which he was dealing, rather than by originality in his own position. BR and Moore were the two philosophers with whose views his were most closely aligned. Broad was evidently devoted to BR. One of the current editors was introduced to Broad upon visiting Trinity College Library in 1966. He was keen to hear about BR from someone who had recently talked with him. Following BR’s death Broad introduced a reprint of G.H. Hardy’s Bertrand Russell and Trinity: a College Controversy of the Last War (Cambridge U. P., 1944; 1970).
Rupert Chawner Brooke (1887–1915), poet and soldier, became a tragic symbol of a generation doomed by war after he died from sepsis en route to the Gallipoli theatre. Although BR had previously expressed a dislike, even loathing, of Brooke in letters to Ottoline, he too placed him in this tragic posthumous light. Rupert “haunts one always”, he wrote Ottoline shortly after the poet’s death in April 1915, and (five months later) “one is made so terribly aware of the waste when one is here [Trinity College]…. Rupert Brooke’s death brought it home to me” (BRACERS 18431, 18435: see also Letter 85). Brooke had become acquainted with BR and members of the Bloomsbury Group in pre-war Cambridge. BR was an examiner of Brooke’s King’s College fellowship dissertation (later published as John Webster and the Elizabethan Drama ), with which he was pleasantly and surprisingly impressed. “It is astonishingly well-written, vigorous, fertile, full of life”, he reported to Ottoline in February 1912 (BRACERS 17447). After the outbreak of war Brooke obtained a commission in a naval reserve unit attached to a military combat battalion; his war poetry captures the patriotic idealism that compelled so many young men to enlist.
Maud Clara Frances Burdett (1872–1951) and BR were childhood playmates and had remained in intermittent contact ever since. She was a daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, 7th Baronet, whose family home in Richmond was close to Pembroke Lodge where BR grew up. Sensing her keen intelligence, BR was disappointed when Maud’s conventional mother and sister dissuaded her from entering Newnham College, Cambridge. BR’s anti-war stand later caused her “acute pain”, she wrote him on 29 April 1918 (BRACERS 75326), but this political disagreement did not deter her from wishing to visit him in Brixton. Although BR felt somewhat duly-bound to receive her, it is not clear that he ever did.
Herbert Wildon Carr (1857–1931), Professor of Philosophy at King’s College, London, from 1918 and Visiting Professor at the University of Southern California from 1925. Carr came to philosophy late in life after a lucrative career as a stockbroker. His philosophy was an idiosyncratic amalgam of Bergsonian vitalism and Leibnizian monadology, which, he thought, was supported by modern biology and the theory of relativity. He wrote books on Bergson and Leibniz at opposite ends of his philosophical career and a book on relativity in the middle. His philosophy would have made him an unlikely ally of BR’s, but it was Carr who organized BR’s two courses of public lectures, on philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of logical atomism, which brought BR back to philosophy and improved his finances in 1917–18. Carr had great administrative talents, which he employed also on behalf of the Aristotelian Society during his long association with it. He was its president in 1916–18 and continued to edit its Proceedings until 1929.
Sir George Cave (1856–1928; Viscount Cave, 1918), Conservative politician and lawyer, was promoted to Home Secretary (from the Solicitor-General’s office) on the formation of the Lloyd George Coalition in December 1916. His political and legal career peaked in the 1920s as Lord Chancellor in the Conservative administrations led by Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin. At the Home Office Cave proved to be something of a scourge of anti-war dissent, being the chief promoter, for example, of the highly contentious Defence of the Realm Regulation 27C (see Letter 51).
Clee Hill Near Ashford Carbonel, Shropshire, where BR and Colette spent an idyllic summer holiday in August 1917, staying in house named “The Avenue”. BR mentioned the day at Clee Hill in several letters, the last on 8 September 1918 (Letter 100). What exactly happened on that day is not clear in any of his letters. However, in a prison message to BR, Colette remembered that a red fox came and listened to them there (Rinder to BR, 15 June 1918, BRACERS 79614). They also vacationed at The Avenue in March 1918, before BR entered prison.
Dorothy Cousens (née Mackenzie) had been the fiancée of Graeme West, a soldier who had written to BR from the Front about politics. The Diary of a Dead Officer, a collection of his letters and memorabilia edited by Cyril Joad, was published in 1918 by Allen & Unwin. BR got to know Mackenzie after West was killed in action in April 1917 (she, “on the news of his death, became blind for three weeks” [BR’s note, Auto. 2: 71]) and provided some work for her and the man she married, Hilderic Cousens. Decades later she explained to K. Blackwell how she knew BR: “I had a break-down when most of my generation were either killed or in prison and Bertrand Russell was kind and helped me back to sanity” (29 July 1978, BRACERS 121877). She donated Letter 63 and a much later handwritten letter (BRACERS 55813), on the death of Hilderic, to the Russell Archives.
Arthur Lindsay Dakyns (1883–1941), a barrister, had been befriended by BR when Dakyns was an Oxford undergraduate and the Russells were living at Bagley Wood. BR once described Dakyns to Gilbert Murray as “a disciple” (16 May 1905, BRACERS 79178) and wrote warmly of him to Lucy Donnelly as “the only person up here (except the Murrays) that I feel as a real friend” (1 Jan. 1906; Auto. 1: 181). During the First World War Dakyns enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in France. BR had become acquainted with the H. Graham Dakyns family, who resided in Haslemere, Surrey, after he and Alys moved to nearby Fernhurst in 1896. He corresponded with both father and son.
Margaret Llewelyn Davies (1861–1944), sister of BR’s close Cambridge friends Crompton and Theodore Llewelyn Davies; she was a socialist and feminist who corresponded with BR for many years on public issues.
Raphael Demos (1892–1968), one of BR’s logic students in the autumn of 1916. Then on a Sheldon travelling fellowship, Demos eventually returned to Harvard where he taught philosophy for the rest of his career. Russell had taught him at Harvard in 1914 and described him in his Autobiography (1: 212). In 1916–17 BR recommended two of his articles to G.F. Stout, the editor of Mind (“A Discussion of a Certain Type of Negative Proposition”, Mind 26 [Jan. 1917]: 188–96; and “A Discussion of Modal Propositions and Propositions of Practice”, 27 [Jan. 1918]: 77–85); see BRACERS 54831 and 2962 (and for Demos’s letters to BR in 1917 about the submissions, BRACERS 76495 and 76496, and BR’s reply to the first, BRACERS 838).
Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson (1862–1932) was a Fellow and Lecturer of King’s College, Cambridge, where he had moved inside the same tight circle of friends as the undergraduate BR. According to BR, “Goldie” (as he was fondly known to intimates) “inspired affection by his gentleness and pathos” (Auto. 1: 63). As a scholar, his interests ranged across politics, history and philosophy. Also a passionate internationalist, Dickinson was an energetic promoter of future war prevention by a League to Enforce Peace. And he was a poet: BR copied three of his poems into “All the Poems That We Have Most Enjoyed Together”: Bertrand Russell’s Commonplace Book, ed. K. Blackwell (Hamilton, ON: McMaster U. Library P., 2018), pp. 8–13.
T.S. Eliot The poet and critic Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888–1965) was a student of BR’s at Harvard in 1914. BR had sensed his ability, especially “a certain exquisiteness of appreciation” (to Lucy Donnelly, 11 May 1914; SLBR 1: 491), but did not see a genius in embryo. After Eliot travelled to England later the same year, to study philosophy at Oxford under H.H. Joachim, BR became something of a father figure to the younger man. He also befriended Eliot’s (English) wife, Vivienne, whom he had hastily married in 1915 and with whom BR may have had an affair the following year. BR shared his Bloomsbury apartment (at 34 Russell Chambers) with the couple for more than a year after their marriage, and jointly rented a property with them in Marlow, Bucks. (see Letter 78). He further eased Eliot’s monetary concerns by arranging paid reviewing for him and giving him £3,000 in debentures from which BR was reluctant, on pacifist grounds, to collect the income (Auto. 2: 19). Eliot’s financial security was much improved by obtaining a position at Lloyd’s Bank in 1917, but during BR’s imprisonment he faced uncertainty of a different kind as the shadow of conscription loomed over him (see, e.g., Letter 27). Nine years after the war ended Eliot returned the securities (BRACERS 76480).
Maurice Elvey (1887–1967) was a prolific film director (of silent pictures especially) and enjoyed a very successful career in that industry lasting many decades. Born William Seward Folkard into a working-class family, Elvey changed his name around 1910, when he was acting. He directed his first film, The Fallen Idol, in 1913. By 1917, when he directed Colette in Hindle Wakes, he had married for a second time — to a sculptor, Florence Hill Clarke — his first marriage having ended in divorce. Elvey and Colette had an affair during the filming of Hindle Wakes, beginning in September 1917. After his long-lost wartime film about the life of Lloyd George was rediscovered and restored in the 1990s, it premiered to considerable acclaim (see Letter 87, note 12).
Experimental Theatre Colette first mentioned that she and Miles were trying to start an Experimental Theatre in a letter of 24 June 1918 (BRACERS 113135), indicating that Miles would earn a tiny income from it. About a month later, she wrote that Elizabeth Russell had subscribed generously to the Theatre and that £700 had been raised, but hundreds still had to be found (BRACERS 113146). A few days later she wrote that Captain Stephen Gordon, a north-country lawyer working for the government, was to be the honorary treasurer, noting that he had “put most of the drive into the whole thing” (BRACERS 113147). During August Colette was happy with her involvement with the Theatre (Letter 68). John Galsworthy came to tea to discuss the project (c.14 Aug., BRACERS 113149). On 2 September she listed the members of the Theatre committee as “Desmond <MacCarthy>, Massingham, Galsworthy, and Dennis (Bradley)” (BRACERS 113155). The following day she wrote that she was learning three parts (BRACERS 113156). In her memoirs, Colette wrote about the “Experimental Little Theatre” but dated it 1919 (After Ten Years [London: Cape, 1931], pp. 129–30). An “artistic” theatre did get founded in 1920 in Hampstead, and John Galsworthy was connected to that venture, The Everyman Theatre — he was part of a reading committee which chose the works to be performed (The Times, 9 Sept. 1919, p. 8). The Everyman Theatre was under the direction of Norman MacDermott. In his book Everymania (London: Society for Theatre Research, 1975), he noted that he met Miles in the summer of 1918: they rented a store in Bloomsbury, had a cabinetmaker build sets, and put on plays with actors “bored with West-End theatres” (p. 10). It is likely that the Everyman Theatre was an out-growth of the Experimental Theatre.
Fellowship Plan Since the upper-age limit for compulsory military service had been increased to 50 in April 1918, BR was faced with the unnerving prospect of being conscripted after his release from Brixton. Early in his imprisonment he was already wondering about his “position when I emerge from here” (Letter 9). While his conviction was still under appeal, he had broached with Clifford Allen and Gilbert Murray the possibility of avoiding military service, not by asserting his conscientious objection to it, but by obtaining accreditation of his philosophical research as work of national importance (see note to Letter 24). The Pelham Committee, set up by the Board of Trade in March 1916, was responsible for the designation of essential occupations and recommending to the local tribunals, who adjudicated claims for exemption from military service, that C.O.s be considered for such positions. BR reasoned to Murray on 2 April that a dispensation to practise philosophy (as opposed to working outside his profession), would enable to him to “avoid prison without compromise” — i.e., of his political and moral opposition to conscription (BRACERS 52367). Although BR intended to withdraw from political work, he told Murray two days later, he would not promise to abstain from peace campaigning (BRACERS 52369). It should be noted that C.O.s who accepted alternative service in special Home Office camps were expressly prohibited from engaging in pacifist activities (see John W. Graham, Conscription and Conscience: a History, 1916–1919 [London: Allen & Unwin, 1922], p. 231).
First Division As part of a major reform of the English penal system, the Prison Act (1898) had created three distinct categories of confinement for offenders sentenced to two years or less (without hard labour) in a “local” prison. (A separate tripartite system of classification applied to prisoners serving longer terms of penal servitude in Britain’s “convict” prisons.) For less serious crimes, the courts were to consider the “nature of the offence” and the “antecedents” of the guilty party before deciding in which division the sentence would be served. But in practice such direction was rarely given, and the overwhelming majority of offenders was therefore assigned third-division status by default and automatically subjected to the harshest (local) prison discipline (see Victor Bailey, “English Prisons, Penal Culture, and the Abatement of Imprisonment, 1895–1922”, Journal of British Studies 36 : 294). Yet prisoners in the second division, to which BR was originally sentenced, were subject to many of the same rigours and rules as those in the third. Debtors, of whom there were more than 5,000 in local prisons in 1920, constituted a special class of inmate, whose less punitive conditions of confinement were stipulated in law rather than left to the courts’ discretion.
French Revolution Reading In Letter 2 (6 May 1918) BR instructed his brother to ask Evelyn Whitehead to “recommend books (especially memoirs) on French Revolution”, and reported that he was already reading “Aulard” — presumably Alphonse Aulard’s Histoire politique de la révolution française (Paris: A. Colin, 1901). In a message to Ottoline sent via Frank ten days later (Letter 5), BR hinted that he was especially interested in the period after August 1792, which he felt was “very like the present day”. On 27 May (Letter 9), he conveyed to Frank his disappointment that Evelyn had not yet procured for him any memoirs of the revolutionary era, and that Eva Kyle had only furnished him with The Principal Speeches of the Statesmen and Orators of the French Revolution, 1789–1795, ed. H. Morse Stephens, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1892). This was “not the sort of book I want, BR complained”, but “an old stager history which I have read before” (in Feb. 1902: “What Shall I Read?”, Papers 1: 365). Fortunately, some of the desired literature reached him shortly afterwards, including The Private Memoirs of Madame Roland, ed. Edward Gilpin Johnson (London: Grant Richards, 1901: see Letter 12) — or else a different edition of the doomed Girondin’s prison writings — and the Memoirs of the Comtesse de Boigne, ed. M. Charles Nicoullaud, 3 vols. (London: Heinemann, 1907: see Letter 15). In Letter 48, BR told Ottoline that he was “absorbed in a 3-volume Mémoire” of the Comte de Mirabeau. The edition has not been identified, but quotations attributed to the same aristocratic revolutionary in Letter 44 appear in Lettres d’amour de Mirabeau, précédées d’une étude sur Mirabeau par Mario Proth (Paris: Garnier Frères, 1874). Some weeks after writing Letter 11 to Colette as one purportedly from Mirabeau to Sophie de Monier (sic), BR actually read the lovers’ prison correspondence, possibly in Benjamin Gastineau’s edition: Les Amours de Mirabeau et de Sophie de Monnier, suivis des lettres choisies de Mirabeau à Sophie, de lettres inédites de Sophie, et du testament de Mirabeau par Jules Janin (Paris: Chez tous les libraires, 1865). BR’s reading on the French Revolution also included letters from Études révolutionnaires, ed. James Guillaume, 2 vols. (Paris: Stock, 1908–09), the collection he misleadingly cited as the source for two other illicit communications to Colette (Letters 8 and 10). Also of relevance were Napoleon Bonaparte’s letters to his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, which BR may have read in this well-known English translation edited by Henry Foljambe Hall: Letters to Josephine, 1796–1812 (London: J.M. Dent, 1901). Finally, BR obtained a hostile, cross-channel perspective on the French Revolution and Napoleon from Lord Granville’s Private Correspondence, 1781–1821, ed. Castalia, Countess Granville, 2 vols. (London: J. Murray, 1917: see Letters 40, 41 and 44). Commenting towards the end of his sentence on the mental freedom that he had been able to preserve in Brixton, BR wrote about living “in the French Revolution” among other times and places (Letter 90). His immersion in this tumultuous era may have been deeper still if he perused other works not mentioned in his Brixton letters — which he may well have done. Yet BR’s examination of the French Revolution was not at all programmatic (as intimated perhaps by his preference for personal accounts (diaries and letters in addition to memoirs) — unlike much of his philosophical prison reading. Although his political writings are scattered with allusions to the French Revolution (in which he was interested long before Brixton), BR never produced a major study of it. Just over a year after his imprisonment, however, he did publish a scathing and even profound review of reactionary author Nesta H. Webster’s history of the French Revolution, which certainly drew on his reservoir of knowledge about the period (“The Seamy Side of Revolution”, The Athenaeum, no. 4,665 [26 Sept. 1919]: 943–4; Papers 15: 19).
Sir Auckland Geddes (1879–1954; 1st Baron Geddes, 1942) was returned unopposed as Conservative M.P. for Basingstoke in a by-election held in October 1917. Before this entry into civilian public life, he held the rank of Brigadier-General as director of recruiting at the War Office. He was an ardent champion of conscription even in peacetime and had a long-standing interest in the military, which he expressed before the war as a volunteer medical officer in the British Army Reserve. He had studied medicine and was Professor of Anatomy at McGill University, Montreal, when the outbreak of war prompted an immediate return to Britain in order to enlist. After a riding accident rendered Geddes unfit for front-line duties, he became a staff officer in France with a remit covering the supply and deployment of troops. He performed similar duties at the War Office until his appointment in August 1917 as a Minister of National Service with broad powers over both military recruitment and civilian labour. Geddes held two more Cabinet positions in Lloyd George’s post-war Coalition Government before his appointment in 1920 as British Ambassador to the United States. After returning from Washington on health grounds three years later, Geddes embarked upon a successful business career, becoming chairman in 1925 of the Rio Tinto mining company. See Oxford DNB.
Mary Agnes (“Molly”) Hamilton (1882–1966), socialist peace campaigner, novelist and journalist, became one of the first members of the Union of Democratic Control in August 1914. She was acquainted with both Ottoline and the pacifist literary circle around her at Garsington Manor. After the war Hamilton served for a time as deputy-editor of the Independent Labour Party weekly, The New Leader, and was briefly (1929–31) Labour M.P. for Blackburn.
Captain Carleton Haynes (1858–1945), the Governor of Brixton Prison in 1918, was a retired army officer and a cousin of BR’s acquaintance, the radical lawyer and author E.S.P. Haynes. In March 1919 BR sent Haynes, in jest, a copy (now in the Russell Archives) of his newly published Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy — so that the governor’s collection of works written by inmates while under his charge would “not ... be incomplete” (BRACERS 123167).
Heart’s Comrade Colette first called BR her “heart’s comrade” in her letter of 17 November 1916 (BRACERS 112964). On 9 December (BRACERS 112977), she explained: “I want you as comrade as well as lover.” On 9 April 1917 (BRACERS 19145), he reciprocated the sentiment for the first time. In a letter of 1 January 1918 (BRACERS 19260), BR was so upset with her that he could no longer call her “heart’s comrade”. After their relationship was patched up, he wrote on 16 February 1918 (BRACERS 19290): “I do really feel you now again my Heart’s Comrade.” The last time that BR expressed the sentiment in a letter to her was 26 August 1921 (BRACERS 19742).
Captain Henry Arthur Hollond (1884–1974), in civilian life, was a legal scholar who had become friendly with BR after being elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1909. The two men also briefly shared rooms at Harvard in spring 1914, where Hollond was studying law and BR was lecturing on logic and epistemology (see SLBR 1: 481). A few months later Hollond enlisted and became a staff officer at British headquarters in France. He remained a Fellow of Trinity for the rest of his life and later served the college as Dean and Vice-Master, as well as holding a university professorship in English law (1943–50). BR’s presumption that Hollond would advocate for him may have been misplaced. When he returned to Trinity in 1944, BR was deeply hurt after seeing a letter indicating that Hollond had not supported him when he was dismissed from his lectureship at the college in 1916. He stewed over this early betrayal until finally initiating a break from Hollond in 1964 (BRACERS 7637).
Philip Edward Bertrand Jourdain (1879–1919), Cambridge-educated logician and historian of mathematics and logic. As a student at Cambridge he took BR’s course on mathematical logic in 1901–02 and subsequently wrote many articles on mathematical logic, set theory, and the foundations of mathematics, among a number of other topics. His extraordinary productivity was achieved despite the ravages of Friedreich’s ataxia, a form of progressive paralysis that killed him in 1919. His extensive correspondence with BR was published (with commentary) in I. Grattan-Guinness, Dear Russell — Dear Jourdain (London: Duckworth, 1977).
Eva Kyle ran a typing service. She did work for the No-Conscription Fellowship and took BR’s dictation of his book, Roads to Freedom, in the early months of 1918. He annotated a letter from her: “She was an admirable typist but very fat. We all agreed that she was worth her weight in gold, though that was saying a great deal.” Her prison letter to him is clever and amusing. She typed his major prison writings and apologized for the amount of the invoice when he emerged.
Allan J. Lawrie The Scottish-born lawyer Allan James Lawrie, K.C. (1873–1926), who in May 1918 presided over the appeal of BR’s conviction, was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, and called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1899. As a comparatively young man in 1911, he was appointed deputy chairman of the County of London Quarter Sessions and sat on the bench there until his death over fourteen years later. Liberal in both politics and law, Lawrie unsuccessfully contested a Yorkshire seat as a Liberal in the 1900 general election and, after inheriting property in East Lothian, maintained an active interest in the party’s fortunes in that region of Scotland. On the bench he was “undoubtedly in sympathy”, according to his obituarist, with a new emphasis on reformatory justice at the London Quarter Sessions (The Times, 2 Feb. 1926, p. 16). Regarding BR’s case, Lawrie thought that a sentence of three or four months would have been more proportionate. Notwithstanding Home Office dissatisfaction with the reassignment of BR to the first division, Lawrie was not overly indulgent of a prisoner whose conviction he had, after all, upheld. In addition, shortly before BR’s release, Lawrie recommended to the Home Office that any extra remission of the sentence be conditional upon BR pledging to abstain from peace propaganda (3 Sept. 1918, BRACERS 122569). The advice was ignored as the Home Office was satisfied with Frank’s assurances about BR’s post-Brixton plans.
J.B. Lippincott Company, founded in 1836, was one of the world’s largest publishers. How it came to approach BR in 1917 is unknown, but it followed upon the success of the Century Company’s US publication of Why Men Fight (1917), the retitled Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916). See Letter 21, note 6.
John Edensor Littlewood (1885–1977), mathematician. In 1908 he became a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and remained one for the rest of his life. In 1910 he succeeded Whitehead as college lecturer in mathematics and began his extraordinarily fruitful, 35-year collaboration with G.H. Hardy. During the First World War he worked on ballistics for the British Army. He and BR were to share Newlands farm, near Lulworth, during the summer of 1919. Littlewood had two children, Philip and Ann Streatfeild, with the wife of Dr. Raymond Streatfeild.
David Lloyd George Through ruthless political intrigue, David Lloyd George (1863–1945) emerged in December 1916 as the Liberal Prime Minister of a new and Conservative-dominated wartime Coalition Government. The “Welsh wizard” remained in that office for the first four years of the peace after a resounding triumph in the notorious “Coupon” general election of December 1918. BR despised the war leadership of Lloyd George as a betrayal of his Radical past as a “pro-Boer” critic of Britain’s South African War and as a champion of New Liberal social and fiscal reforms enacted before August 1914. BR was especially appalled by the Prime Minister’s stubborn insistence that the war be fought to a “knock-out” and by his punitive treatment of imprisoned C.O.s. For the latter policy, as BR angrily chastised Lloyd George at their only wartime meeting, “his name would go down to history with infamy” (Auto. 2: 24).
(Charles Otto) Desmond MacCarthy (1877–1952), literary critic, Cambridge Apostle, and a friend of BR’s since their Trinity College days in the 1890s. MacCarthy edited the Memoir (1910) of Lady John Russell.
James Ramsay MacDonald (1866–1937) was a prominent dissenter and founding member of the Union of Democratic Control. He had resigned as chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party after most of his colleagues voted for the Asquith Government’s war budget in August 1914. After regaining the Labour leadership, MacDonald formed two minority administrations (1924 and 1929–31). He was still in office when he was persuaded, by an acute financial crisis, to accept the premiership of a Conservative-dominated National Government — thereby incurring the wrath of his party (from which he was expelled) for reasons quite different than in the First World War. BR respected MacDonald’s wartime politics but came to regard him as excessively timid and deferential. He later complained how, after becoming Prime Minister, MacDonald “went to Windsor in knee-breeches” (Auto. 2: 129).
Lady Constance Malleson (1895–1975), actress and author, was the daughter of Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl Annesley, and his second wife, Priscilla. “Colette” (as she was known to BR) was raised at the family home, Castlewellan Castle, County Down, Northern Ireland. Becoming an actress was an unusual path for a woman of her class. She studied at Tree’s (later the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), debuting in 1914 with the stage name of Colette O’Niel at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, in a student production. She married fellow actor Miles Malleson (1888–1969) in 1915 because her family would not allow them to live together. In 1916 Colette met BR through the No-Conscription Fellowship and began a love affair with him that lasted until 1920. The affair was rekindled twice, in 1929 and 1948; they remained friends for the rest of his life. She had a great talent for making and keeping friends. Colette acted in London and the provinces. She toured South Africa in 1928–29 and the Middle East, Greece and Italy in 1932 in Lewis Casson and Sybil Thorndike’s company. She acted in two films, both in 1918, Hindle Wakes and The Admirable Crichton, each now lost. With BR’s encouragement she began a writing career, publishing a short story in The English Review in 1919. She published other short stories as well as hundreds of articles and book reviews. Colette wrote two novels — The Coming Back (1933) and Fear in the Heart (1936) — as well as two autobiographies — After Ten Years (1931) and In the North (1946). She was a fierce defender of Finland, where she had lived before the outbreak of World War II. Letters from her appeared in The Times and The Manchester Guardian. Another of her causes was mental health. She died five years after BR in Lavenham, Suffolk, where she spent her final years. See S. Turcon, “A Bibliography of Constance Malleson”, Russell 32 (2012): 175–90.
Miles Malleson (1888–1969), actor and playwright, was born in Croydon, Surrey, the son of Edmund and Myrrha Malleson. He married his first wife, a fellow actor, Lady Constance Annesley (stage name, Colette O’Niel), in 1915. They had met at Tree’s (later the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts). Their marriage was an “open” one. In 1914 Miles enlisted in the City of London Fusiliers and was sent to Malta. He became ill and was discharged, unfit for further service. He became active in the No-Conscription Fellowship and wrote anti-war stage plays as well as a pamphlet, Cranks and Commonsense (1916). In the 1930s he began to write for the screen and act in films, in which he became a very well-known character actor, as well as continuing his stage career at the Old Vic in London. He married three times: his second marriage was to Joan Billson, a physician (married 1923, divorced 1940), with whom he had two children; his third wife was Tatiana Lieven, an actress (married 1946). He died in London in March 1969.
Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923), pseudonym of Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp, New Zealand-born short-story writer. After studying music in her native country, Mansfield moved to London in 1908, married George Bowden, a music teacher, whom she left after a few days, the marriage unconsummated. She was at the time pregnant from a previous affair. Her experiences in Bavaria, where the child was stillborn, became the background for her first collection of stories, In a German Pension (1911), most of which had been previously published in A.R. Orage’s journal, The New Age. In 1911 she met J. Middleton Murry, who fell quickly under her spell and with whom she was to be associated until the end of her life, though they frequently lived independently and married only in 1918. Her health had long been fragile, and in 1918 she was diagnosed with the tuberculosis which eventually killed her. BR met her in 1916 when she was living in Gower Street, near BR’s brother’s house in Gordon Square. For a short time they had an intimate friendship, but not an affair. BR found her talk, especially about what she planned to write, “marvellous, much better than her writing”. But “when she spoke about people she was envious, dark and full of alarming penetration in discovering what they least wished known.” She spoke in this vein of Ottoline Morrell. BR listened but in the end “believed very little of it” and, after that, saw Mansfield no more (Auto. 2: 27). Main biography: Antony Alpers, The Life of Katherine Mansfield (New York: Viking, 1980).
Catherine E. Marshall (1880–1961), suffragist and internationalist who after August 1914 quickly moved from campaigning for women’s votes to protesting the war. An associate member of the No-Conscription Fellowship, she collaborated closely with BR during 1917 especially, when she was the organization’s Acting Hon. Secretary and he its Acting Chairman. Physically broken by a year of intense political work on behalf of the C.O. community, Marshall then spent several months convalescing with the NCF’s founding chairman, Clifford Allen, after he was released from prison on health grounds late in 1917. According to Jo Vellacott, Marshall was in love with Allen and “suffered deeply when he was imprisoned”. During his own imprisonment BR heard rumours that Marshall was to marry Allen (e.g., Letter 71), and Vellacott further suggests that the couple lived together during 1918 “in what seems to have been a trial marriage; Marshall was devastated when the relationship ended” (Oxford DNB). Throughout the inter-war period Marshall was active in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
H.W. Massingham (1860–1924), radical journalist and founding editor in 1907 of The Nation, a publication which superseded The Speaker and soon became Britain’s foremost Liberal weekly. Almost immediately the editor of the new periodical started to host a weekly luncheon (usually at the National Liberal Club), which became a vital forum for the exchange of “New Liberal” ideas and strategies between like-minded politicians, publicists and intellectuals (see Alfred F. Havighurst, Radical Journalist: H.W. Massingham, 1860–1924 [Cambridge: U. P., 1974], pp. 152–3). On 4 August 1914, BR attended a particularly significant Nation lunch, at which Massingham appeared still to be in favour of British neutrality (see Papers 13: 6) — which had actually ended at the stroke of midnight. By the next day, however, Massingham (like many Radical critics of Britain’s pre-war diplomacy) had come to accept the case for military intervention, a position he maintained (not without misgivings) for the next two years. Massingham was still at the helm of the Nation when it merged with the more literary-minded Athenaeum in 1921; he finally relinquished editorial control two years later. In 1918 he served on Miles and Constance Malleson’s Experimental Theatre Committee.
Francis Meynell (1891–1975; knighted 1946), journalist, publisher, and graphic designer, was one of BR’s colleagues in the No-Conscription Fellowship. After being called up in 1916 and refusing to serve, he was detained in military custody at Hounslow Barracks; he was released after a twelve-day hunger strike (see Letter 24). In 1915 Meynell founded the Pelican Press as a publishing outlet for peace propaganda and was also a contributing editor for the Independent Labour Party’s resolutely anti-war Daily Herald. BR evidently respected the political tenacity of Meynell, who remembered being told by him that “I like you … because in spite of your spats there is much of the guttersnipe about you” (Francis Meynell, My Lives [London: The Bodley Head, 1971], p. 89).
Lady Ottoline Morrell, née Cavendish-Bentinck (1873–1938). Ottoline, who was the half-sister of the 6th Duke of Portland and grew up in the politically involved aristocracy, studied at St. Andrews and Oxford. She married, in 1902, Philip Morrell (1870–1943), who became a Liberal M.P. in 1910. She is best known as a Bloomsbury literary and artistic hostess. BR and she had a passionate but non-exclusive love affair from 1911 to 1916. They remained friends for life. She published no books of her own but kept voluminous diaries (now in the British Library) and was an avid photographer of her guests at Garsington Manor, near Oxford. (The photos are published in Lady Ottoline’s Album  and mounted at the website of the National Portrait Gallery.) In the 1930s she had a large selection of BR’s letters to her typed, omitting sensitive passages. BR’s letters to her are with the bulk of her papers at the University of Texas, Austin.
Philip Morrell, Ottoline’s husband (1870–1943), whom she had married in 1902 and with whom, four years later, she had twins — Julian, and her brother, Hugh, who died in infancy. The Morrells were wealthy Oxfordshire brewers, although Philip’s father was a solicitor. He won the Oxfordshire seat of Henley for the Liberal Party in 1906 but held this Conservative stronghold only until the next general election, four years later. For the second general election of 1910 he ran successfully for the Liberals in the Lancashire manufacturing town of Burnley. But Morrell’s unpopular anti-war views later cost him the backing of the local Liberal Association, and his failure to regain the party’s nomination for the post-war election of 1918 (see Letter 89) effectively ended his short political career. Unlike many other Liberal critics of British war policy (including BR), Morrell did not transfer his political allegiance to the Labour Party. Although Ottoline and her husband generally tolerated each other’s extra-marital affairs, a family crisis ensued when in 1917 Philip impregnated both his wife’s maid and his secretary (see Letter 48).
Gilbert Murray (1866–1957), distinguished classical scholar and dedicated liberal internationalist. He was Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford, 1908–36, and chair of the League of Nations Union, 1923–36. He and BR enjoyed a long and close friendship that was ruptured temporarily by bitter disagreement over the First World War. After Murray published The Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey, 1906–1915, in defence of Britain’s pre-war diplomacy, BR responded with a detailed critique, The Policy of the Entente, 1904–1914: a Reply to Professor Gilbert Murray (37 in Papers 13). Yet Murray still took the lead in campaigning to get BR’s sentence reassigned from the second to the first division and (later) in leading an appeal for professional and financial backing of an academic appointment for BR upon his release (the “fellowship plan”, which looms large in his prison correspondence). BR was still thankful for Murray’s exertions some 40 years later. See his portrait of Murray, “A Fifty-Six Year Friendship”, in Murray, An Unfinished Autobiography with Contributions by His Friends, ed. Jean Smith and Arnold Toynbee (London: Allen & Unwin, 1960).
J. Middleton Murry (1889–1957), critic and editor, was educated in classics at Brasenose College, Oxford, before establishing in 1911 the short-lived avant-garde journal, Rhythm. In May 1918 he married the author Katherine Mansfield, to whose literary legacy he became devoted after her death from tuberculosis only five years later. The couple were frequent visitors to Garsington Manor, and Murry appears at one time to have had a romantic yearning for Ottoline (see note to Letter 48). Although Murry’s scornful treatment of Sassoon’s poetry annoyed BR (see Letter 39), he became, nevertheless, a frequent contributor to The Athenaeum during Murry’s two-year stint as its editor (1919–21). After the ailing literary weekly merged with The Nation in 1921, Murry continued his vigorous promotion of modernism in the arts from the helm of his own monthly journal, The Adelphi, which he edited for 25 years. During the First World War he worked as a translator for the War Office but became an uncompromising pacifist in the 1930s. One of the last assignments of his journalistic career was as editor of the pacifist weekly, Peace News (1940–46). Source: Oxford DNB.
The Nation A political and literary weekly, 1907–21, edited for its entirety by H.W. Massingham before it merged with The Athenaeum and then The New Statesman. BR regularly contributed book reviews, starting in 1907. During his time at Brixton, he published there a book review (14 in Papers 8; mentioned in Letters 4 and 102) and a letter to the editor (Letter 39). In August 1914 The Nation hastily abandoned its longstanding support for British neutrality, rejecting an impassioned defence of this position written by BR on the day that Britain declared war (1 in Papers 13). For the next two years the publication gave its editorial backing (albeit with mounting reservations) to the quest for a decisive Allied victory. At the same time, it consistently upheld civil liberties against the encroachments of the wartime state, and by early 1917 had started calling for a negotiated peace as well. The Nation had recovered its dissenting credentials, but for allegedly “defeatist” coverage of the war was hit with an export embargo imposed in March 1917 by Defence of the Realm Regulation 24B.
Eric Harold Neville (1889–1961) was a Cambridge mathematician who specialized in differential and analytical geometry. Although unfit for military service, he publicly affirmed his pacifist opposition to the First World War, which may have resulted in Trinity College declining to renew his fellowship in 1919. Subsequently he became chair of mathematics at University College, Reading.
Alfred Charles Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe (1865–1922), press baron, whose stable of newspapers — especially the jingoistic Daily Mail — were militantly Germanophobic. For the last year of the war, Northcliffe promoted British war aims in an official capacity, as Director of Propaganda in Enemy Countries, although this government role did not inhibit his newspapers from challenging the political and military direction of the war effort.
Principia Mathematica, the monumental, three-volume work coauthored with Alfred North Whitehead and published in 1910–13, was the culmination of BR’s work on the foundations of mathematics. Conceived around 1901 as a replacement for the projected second volumes of BR’s Principles of Mathematics (1903) and of Whitehead’s Universal Algebra (1898), PM was intended to show how classical mathematics could be derived from purely logical principles. For a large swath of arithmetic this was done by actually producing the derivations. A fourth volume on geometry, to be written by Whitehead alone, was never finished. In 1925–27 BR, on his own, produced a second edition, adding a long introduction, three appendices and a list of definitions to the first volume and corrections to all three. (See B. Linsky, The Evolution of Principia Mathematica [Cambridge U. P., 2011].) In this edition, under the influence of Wittgenstein, he attempted to extensionalize the underlying intensional logic of the first edition.
prohibited areas On 17 July 1918 (BRACERS 75814) General George Cockerill, Director of Special Intelligence at the War Office, notified Frank Russell that constraints on BR’s freedom of movement, imposed almost two years before, had been lifted as of 11 July. Since 1 September 1916, BR had been banned under Defence of the Realm Regulation 14 from visiting any of Britain’s “prohibited areas” without the express permission of a “competent military authority”. The extra-judicial action was taken partly in lieu of prosecuting BR for a second time under the Defence of the Realm Act, on this occasion over an anti-war speech delivered in Cardiff on 6 July 1916 (63 in Papers 13). (Britain’s Director of Public Prosecutions was confident that a conviction could be secured but concerned lest BR should again exploit the trial proceedings for propaganda effect and thereby create “a remedy … worse than the disease” [HO 45/11012/314760/6, National Archives, UK].) Since the exclusion zone covered many centres of war production, BR would be prevented (according to the head of MI5) from spreading “his vicious tenets amongst dockers, miners and transport workers” (quoted in Papers 13: lxiv). But the order also applied to military and naval installations and almost the entire coastline. As a lover of the sea and the seaside, BR chafed under the latter restriction: “I can’t tell you how I long for the SEA”, he told Colette (Letter 75).
W. Gladys Rinder worked for the No-Conscription Fellowship and was “chiefly concerned with details in the treatment of pacifist prisoners” (BR’s note, Auto. 2: 88). More specifically, she helped administer the Conscientious Objectors’ Information Bureau, a joint advisory committee set up in May 1916 and representing two other anti-conscription organizations — the Friends’ Service Committee and Fellowship of Reconciliation — as well as the NCF. One C.O. later testified to her “able and zealous” management of this repository of records on individual C.O.s (see John W. Graham, Conscription and Conscience: a History, 1916–1919 [London: Allen & Unwin, 1922], p. 186). Rinder exhibited similar qualities in assisting with the distribution of BR’s correspondence from prison and in writing him official and smuggled letters. Her role in the NCF changed in June 1918, and after the Armistice she assumed control of a new department dedicated to campaigning for the immediate release of all imprisoned C.O.s. She appears to have lost touch with BR after the war but continued her peace advocacy, which included publishing occasionally on international affairs. In 1924 she travelled to Washington, DC, as part of the British delegation to a congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Decades later Colette remembered Rinder to Kenneth Blackwell as somebody who “seemed about 40 in 1916–18. She was a completely nondescript person, but efficient, and kind” (BRACERS 121687).
34 Russell Chambers, Bury Street (since renamed Bury Place), London WC1, BR’s flat since 1911. Helen Dudley rented the flat in late 1916 or early 1917. In May 1918 she sublet it to Clare Annesley. Colette moved in on 9 September 1918 and stayed until June 1919. BR did not give up the lease until December 1923. See S. Turcon, “Russell Chambers, Other London Flats, and Country Homes, 1911–1923”, Bertrand Russell Society Bulletin, no. 150 (Fall 2014): 30–4.
Edith Russell (1901–1978) was an American biographer and part-time academic at Bryn Mawr College with whom BR became acquainted through his American friend Lucy Donnelly. She was the author of Wilfred Scawen Blunt (1938) and Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr (1947). The former Edith Bronson Finch became BR’s fourth wife in 1952. She was a director of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.
Elizabeth Russell, born Mary Annette Beauchamp (1866–1941), was a novelist who in 1891 married Graf von Arnim-Schlagenthin. She became known as “Elizabeth”, the name she used in publishing Elizabeth and Her German Garden (1898), and she remained widely known as Elizabeth von Arnim, although the Library of Congress catalogues her as Mary Annette (Beauchamp), Countess von Arnim. She was a widow when she married BR’s brother, Frank, on 11 February 1916. The marriage was quickly in difficulty; she left it for good in March 1919, but they were never divorced and she remained Countess Russell (becoming Dowager Countess after Frank’s death in 1931).
John Francis (“Frank”) Stanley Russell (1865–1931; 2nd Earl Russell from 1878), BR’s older brother. Author of Lay Sermons (1902), Divorce (1912), and My Life and Adventures (1923). BR remembered Frank bullying him as a child and as having the character and appearance of a Stanley, but also as giving him his first geometry lessons (Auto. 1: 26, 36). He was accomplished in many fields: sailor, electrician, house builder, pioneer motorist, local politician, lawyer, businessman and company director, and (later) constructive junior member of the second Labour Government. Frank was married three times. The first marriage involved serious legal actions by and against his wife and her mother, but a previous scandal, which ended his career at Oxford, had an overshadowing effect on his life (see Ruth Derham, “‘A Very Improper Friend’: the Influence of Jowett and Oxford on Frank Russell”, Russell 37 : 271–87). The second marriage was to Mollie Sommerville (see Ian Watson, “Mollie, Countess Russell”, Russell 23 : 65–8). The third was to Elizabeth, Countess von Arnim. Despite difficulties with him, BR declared from prison: “No prisoner can ever have had such a helpful brother” (Letter 20).
Dr. Alfred Salter (1873–1945), socialist and pacifist physician, replaced BR as Acting Chairman of the NCF in January 1918. For two decades he had been dedicated both professionally and politically to the working-class poor of Bermondsey. In 1898 Salter moved there into a settlement house founded by the Rev. John Scott Lidgett to minister to the health, social and educational needs of this chronically deprived borough in south-east London. In establishing a general practice in Bermondsey, Salter forsook the very real prospect of advancement in the medical sciences (at which he had excelled as a student at Guy’s). Shortly after his marriage to fellow settlement house worker Ada Brown in 1900, the couple joined the Society of Friends and Salter became active in local politics as a Liberal councillor. In 1908 he became a founding member of the Independent Labour Party’s Bermondsey branch and twice ran for Parliament there under its banner before winning the seat for the ILP in 1922. Although he lost it the following year, he was again elected in October 1924 and represented the constituency for the last twenty years of his life, during which he remained a consistently strong pacifist voice inside the ILP. Salter was an indefatigable organizer whose steely political will and fixed sense of purpose made him, in BR’s judgement, inflexible and doctrinaire when it came to the nuances of conscientious objection. See Oxford DNB and A. Fenner Brockway, Bermondsey Story: the Life of Alfred Salter (London: Allen & Unwin, 1949).
Charles Percy Sanger (1871–1930) and BR remained close friends after their first-year meeting at Trinity College, to which both won mathematics scholarships and where their brilliance was almost equally rated. They were elected to the Cambridge Apostles and obtained their fellowships at the same time. After being called to the Bar, Sanger became an erudite legal scholar and was an able economist with great facility in languages as well. BR fondly recalled his “perfect combination of penetrating intellect and warm affection” (Auto. 1: 57).
Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967), soldier awarded the MC and anti-war poet. Ottoline had befriended him in 1916, and the following year, when Sassoon refused to return to his regiment after being wounded, she and BR helped publicize this protest, which probably saved him from a court martial. BR even assisted Sassoon in revising his famous anti-war statement, which was read to the House of Commons by a Liberal M.P. on 30 July 1917. Sassoon’s actions were an embarrassment to the authorities, for he was well known as both a poet and a war hero. Unable to hush the case up, the government acted with unexpected subtlety and declared Sassoon to be suffering from shell-shock and sent him to Craiglockhart War Hospital for Officers, near Edinburgh. After a period of recuperation in Scotland overseen by military psychiatrist Capt. W.H.R. Rivers, Sassoon decided to return to the Front (see Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Siegfried Sassoon: Soldier, Poet, Lover, Friend [New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2014]). He was again wounded in July 1918 and was convalescing in Britain during some of BR’s imprisonment. Although each admired the other’s stand on the war, BR and Sassoon were never close in later years. Yet Sassoon did pledge £50 to the fellowship plan fund (see BRACERS 114758), and decades later he donated a manuscript in support of BR’s International War Crimes Tribunal (see BRACERS 79066).
Lucy Mary Silcox (1862–1947), headmistress of St. Felix school in Southwold, Suffolk (1909–26), feminist, and long-time friend of BR’s, whom he had known since at least 1906. On a letter from her, he wrote that she was “one of my dearest friends until her death ” (BR’s note, BRACERS 80365). After learning of BR’s conviction and sentencing by the Bow St. magistrate, a distraught Silcox reported to him that she had been “shut out in such blackness and desolation” (2 Feb. 1918, BRACERS 80377). During BR’s imprisonment it was Silcox who brought to his attention the Spectator review of Mysticism and Logic. Years later (in 1928), when BR and Dora Russell had launched Beacon Hill School, Silcox came with Ottoline Morrell to visit it.
Lytton Strachey (1880–1932), biographer, reviewer and a quintessential literary figure of the Bloomsbury Group. He is best known for his debunking portraits of Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Dr. Arnold and General Gordon, published together as Eminent Victorians (London: Chatto & Windus, 1918; Russell’s library), which BR read in Brixton with great amusement as well as some critical reservations (see Letter 7). Although Strachey was homosexual, he and the artist Dora Carrington were devoted to each other and from 1917 lived together in Tidmarsh, Berkshire. BR had become acquainted with the somewhat eccentric Strachey, a fellow Cambridge Apostle, while his slightly younger contemporary was reading history at Trinity College. He admired Strachey’s literary gifts, but doubted his intellectual honesty. Almost three decades later BR fleshed out the unflattering thumbnail of Strachey drawn for Ottoline in Letter 7, in a “Portrait from Memory” for BBC radio. Strachey was “indifferent to historical truth”, BR alleged in that broadcast, “and would always touch up the picture to make the lights and shades more glaring and the folly or wickedness of famous people more obvious” (The Listener 48 [17 July 1952]: 98). Main biography: Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey: a Critical Biography, 2 vols. (London: Heinemann, 1967–68).
The Studio The accommodation BR and Colette rented on the ground floor at 5 Fitzroy Street, just off Howland Street, London W1. “It had a top light, a gas fire and ring. A water tap and lavatory in the outside passage were shared with a cobbler whose workshop adjoined” (Colette’s annotation at BRACERS 113087). It was ready to occupy in November 1917.
Telegraph House, the country home of BR’s brother, Frank. It is located on the South Downs near Petersfield, Hants., and North Marden, W. Sussex. See S. Turcon, “Telegraph House”, Bertrand Russell Society Bulletin, no. 154 (Fall 2016): 45–69.
Stanley Unwin (1884–1968; knighted in 1946) became, in the course of a long business career, an influential figure in British publishing and, indeed, the book trade globally — for which he lobbied persistently for the removal of fiscal and bureaucratic impediments to the sale of printed matter (see his The Truth about a Publisher: an Autobiographical Record [London: Allen & Unwin, 1960], pp. 294–304). In 1916 Principles of Social Reconstruction became the first of many BR titles to appear under the imprint of Allen & Unwin, with which his name as an author is most closely associated. Along with G.D.H. Cole, R.H. Tawney and Harold Laski, BR was notable among several writers of the Left on the publishing house’s increasingly impressive list of authors. Unwin himself was a committed pacifist who conscientiously objected to the First World War but chose to serve as a nurse in a Voluntary Aid Detachment. With occasional departures, BR remained with the company for the rest of his life (and posthumously), while Unwin also acted for him as literary agent with book publishers in most overseas markets.
Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947), Cambridge-educated mathematician and philosopher. From 1884 to 1910 he was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and lecturer in mathematics there; from 1911 to 1924 he taught in London, first at University College and then at the Imperial College of Science and Technology; in 1924 he took up a professorship in philosophy at Harvard and spent the rest of his life in America. BR took mathematics courses with him as an undergraduate, which led to a lifelong friendship. Whitehead’s first major work was A Treatise on Universal Algebra (1898), which treated selected mathematical theories as “systems of symbolic reasoning”. Like BR’s The Principles of Mathematics (1903), it was intended as the first of two volumes; but in 1900 he and BR discovered Giuseppe Peano’s work in symbolic logic, and each decided to set aside his projected second volume to work together on a more comprehensive treatment of mathematics using Peano’s methods. The result was the three volumes of Principia Mathematica (1910–13), which occupied the pair for over a decade. After Principia was published, Whitehead’s interests, like BR’s, turned to the empirical sciences and, finally, after his move to America, to pure metaphysics. See Victor Lowe, Alfred North Whitehead: the Man and His Work, 2 vols. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins U. P., 1985–90).
Evelyn (Willoughby-Wade) Whitehead (1865–1961). Educated in a French convent, she married Alfred North Whitehead in 1891. Her suffering, during an apparent angina attack, inspired BR’s profound sympathy and occasioned a storied episode which he described as a “mystic illumination” (Auto. 1: 146). Through her he supported the Whitehead family finances during the writing of Principia Mathematica. During the early stages of his affair with Ottoline Morrell, she was BR’s confidante. They maintained their mutual affection during the war, despite the loss of her airman son, Eric. BR last visited Evelyn in 1950 in Cambridge, Mass., when he found her in very poor health.
John James Withers (1863–1939; knighted 1929) was senior partner in the prominent City law firm that bore his name and was located near the legal district of the Temple. Specialists in family law (although clearly not to the exclusion of other services), Withers & Co. acted for both BR and his brother for many years. In 1926 Withers was elected unopposed as Conservative M.P. for Cambridge University and held the seat for the remainder of his life.
Ludwig Joseph Johann Wittgenstein (1889–1951), one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. Austrian born, he abandoned a career in engineering to study philosophy of mathematics with BR at Cambridge in 1911 and started making original contributions, in the form of cryptic, posthumously published notes, shortly thereafter. In 1913 he criticized BR’s multiple-relation theory of judgment so effectively that BR abandoned the book (Theory of Knowledge) presenting the theory. During the First World War he served in the Austrian Army and completed the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (published in German as Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung in 1921 and in English translation under the title by which it became known in 1922), the only major work he published in his lifetime. He then abandoned philosophy for some years before returning to Cambridge in 1929, where he became a Research Fellow and began lecturing. He succeeded G.E. Moore as Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy in 1939. During this later period his philosophy took a very different direction from the one found in the Tractatus. He published nothing but wrote copiously; his notes, lectures, and remarks were posthumously published by his students and disciples in various editions and compilations, the most important of which was Philosophical Investigations (1953). Main biography: Ray Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: the Duty of Genius (London: Cape, 1990).
Dorothy Maud Wrinch (1894–1976), mathematician, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. She studied mathematics and philosophy at Girton College, Cambridge, and came under BR’s influence in her second year when she took his course on mathematical logic. She taught mathematics at University College, London, 1918–21, and then at Oxford, 1922–30. Her first publications were in mathematical logic and philosophy, and during the 1920s she wrote on the philosophy of science. But in the 1930s her interests turned to mathematical biology and crystallography, and in 1935 she moved to the United States on a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship and remained there for the rest of her life. Unfortunately, as a biologist she is best known for a long and stubborn controversy with Linus Pauling about the structure of proteins in which he was right and she was wrong. See Marjorie Senechal, I Died for Beauty: Dorothy Wrinch and the Cultures of Science (New York: Oxford U. P., 2013). Chapter 7 is devoted to Wrinch’s interactions with BR in Brixton.
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