Record no. Notes, topics or text

"Are you relieved or disappointed that the Swiss will not allow you to go to Bâsle? They seem to have an odd idea about neutrality. Have you a small copy of Bertie's present views on the subject of the H-bomb?"


A draft of a letter.

"We were not disappointed by making no journey to Switzerland, but were—and are—bitterly disappointed by what the Swiss Government's refusal meant. The attitude towards nuclear disarmament everywhere and the difficulty of publicizing, even here in this country, the views of those who uphold its necessity, and the spread of the H-bomb from country to country, are dismaying in the extreme."


"Have not yet read Bertie's typescript. Full of sympathy and love from us both."


"Last Sunday, Anthony and Alicia packed four children in the motor and intended to start on Monday at 4 a.m. and drive to the cottage they had last year. He then wrote to me, 'I was captivated by Bertie's charm'. (This for you not for Bertie!)".


"I asked C. whether she would paint Bertie and she would greatly like to do it."


"I should like to hear that you see a break in the clouds? I see nothing but violence and increasing helplessness. But I hope I am wrong."


"I hope to see Bertie's 'commonsensical' book. Elizabeth is coming here tomorrow and I expect she will have seen you. She says your house is very small from outside."


"I wrote Bertie a line and sent a comic card. I hope you laughed."


"Are you in London yet? I hope to go to Elizabeth this evening for three days and as you live so near perhaps you and Bertie could look in for a few minutes?"


"I am so glad you and Bertie favour a look at Woburn."


"I rang up Elizabeth and heard she had been to Trafalgar Square, driven by Christian Maxwell (the artist I now recommend for Bertie's portrait)".


"There is a great grandson of Uncle Charles—a Birkin very nice chap—who longs to know Bertie his aunt Marjorie Russell tells me."


"As far as I can understand the Radio Times—Bertie is going to confront the Asians in Liverpool on Friday 27th."


Flora gives David Birkin's address and his family tree.


"I have read and much enjoyed Gilbert Murray and especially your chapter."

"I saw the Trojan Women and Gilbert Murray spoke—it was in aid of some Peace Charity."


"I saw Bertie on my maid's television and saw he looked delightfully audible."


"Bertie forbids me solemnly to go to sit down meeting on February 19—, says he has forbidden you to go. Does it not follow that we both urge him not to go?"

"Do ask Bertie to write a really great play for her—Molière, Shakespeare, Aristophanes must be surpassed—Caroline has worked hard."


"One of your letters seemed to say you were going to pack up Hasker Street."


"I should like to show you letter of Uncle Odo to my father (typed copies) from Versailles in 1871. He was a delegate to the Germans outside the Walls."


"I know that you were fond of my father for you told me so. This is to ask whether you have any recollection of his elder brother whom we called Uncle Bedford? I think he must have come to Pembroke Lodge in your early days."


"My factotum (or factota) Molly put her head in and said excitedly Quick the Radio. An old lecture of yours was on, an extract—you were describing your visit to a Roman Catholic service and the priest intoning Latin and next a low church minister telling you to repent of your sins. What a mimic you can be!"


"Tell Bertie that his cousin Madeline Midleton was here the other day and said she hoped he was well in spite of his exertions."

"I am re-reading my father's diaries and find on March 2 1880 'I took Bertrand Russell over the House'. House means House of Commons."


"I am sending you with this letter the photograph taken some weeks ago in Hasker Street of you with Lord Russell and the bust of Socrates."


"Yes, please keep all the photographs."


"I note your wish about Bertie's medal—and I hope to send you or better still give you an imitation bronze head of Uncle John—if the cast cannot do a real bronze."


"Did you ever get Queen Victoria's typed diaries about her visit to Woburn or (horrid thought) did I not post them? or were they lost in the post?"

"I read something of Bertie's activities in Sunday Times and the Guardian, but oh! I am so slow—but today I have a pen that works and don't you think my handwriting is rather good"?


"Can you tell me about the Geophysical Year? I heard it on European News on 464 at 5.30. What I heard was that 60 or 70 Top Men of Science were meeting and collaborating in Rome March 8."


"The National Portrait Gallery has formally accepted my gift of Uncle John's head modelled by Boehm in unbaked clay and tinted with terra cotta."


"The pronouncement that Bertie is working on a new idea is most interesting to me."


"I am grateful to Bertie for sending his new book and it might come tomorrow."


"I found tiny memoir of Anna Marie mother of 8th Duke by Rector of Woburn and he was a Fellow of the Royal Society."


"1.15 p.m."

"Ian's secretary has just rung up from Woburn. She says the Duke has got my letter asking him to luncheon after the 8th."

"I said, I would find out what day you and Bertie might be able to get to London."


"I have re-read your letter and written to Ian to ask him and Nicole to give me the pleasure of coming to meet you and Bertie here on Tuesday 9th for luncheon or Monday 8th tea time."

"I am not surprised that Bertie enjoyed Woburn, though so big a house, I have always found it snug."


"Elizabeth gave me your message that you were not coming to London till May."


"I try to persuade Russells to know each other before abusing them. Glad Bertie was cured of bad pneumonia." 


"I often wonder what faults Maud could have charged you with? She made Gilbert perfectly happy and helped to produce two very nice boys—you need not answer this last wondering of mine!"


"Did you often see Uncle Bedford? I think he visited Pembroke Lodge."


"I know that you sent Raymond some carnations when at Guys Hospital. Could you put on a postcard the address of the market garden they came from?"


"I am glad you enjoyed that oddly-described wedding—you ask whether I 'want it back'. No, I do not but I make the condition that you do not publish it until after my death—some Russells think they have copyrights—others are against all publicity."

"If you like, I can copy for Uncle Odo's letters from his honeymoon at Woburn. It would certainly amuse Edith."


"On Jan 17 or 18th Maud had a telegram from Malta reporting Raymond's death."


"Did you see the notice in the Times about Raymond about 10 days ago. I have two copies and would send you one (to be returned!) It was by Sir Russell Brock an eminent surgeon, so they tell me. Maud has sent me my letters to Raymond from a drawer in his flat."


"We have been launching a magazine called 'Discovering Art' in South Africa, Rhodesia and Kenya."


A fragment of a letter.

Flora includes an extract from a letter by J.L. Motley to his wife, describing Lord John Russell and his attire.


"You ask whether I have penetrated Ian's practice. If you mean the practice of his mind—I have not."


"The olive is an emblem of peace (is it not?) Is there not a text about an olive branch?"

"You would let me know if you had to come to London, I hope."


"So kind of you to see Mrs. Powell and kind of Edith to write."

"I am 95 today (they say). I think you were quoted in Lift up your hearts today."


"I have just stayed two nights with R. Blakiston Rachel Campbell today. ... She talked of your recently television and how good it was."

"I promised if you came to London that you would see her (you will, I hope). She will remember and read your books and she has four sons."


"Could you give me a sentence one of yours—if it seems to you wise, witty. I will have it recorded by that professor friend Anthony's brother-in-law who says I have the clearest Russell voice."


"Here is a sentence that I like: 'Men do as much harm as they dare and as much good as they must'."


"Love to Edith—Do you ever think of buying a machine for her to dictate to—then fetched by typist and returned in print?"


"I have just been three days with Caroline Blakiston at the Dudley Hotel. She, for a week acting in the Brighton Theatre an idiotic play to an audience of 5 or 6."


"I hear from Record Office (Blakiston) that a historian from Ball Coll is about and write a life of Uncle John."


"Bravo Bertrand".


"... I am watching the ascent, watched affectionately by me of Cousin Caroline Blakiston (nèe Russell) on the stage—G.B. Shaw at Hove on June 21. I am told that Apollo is producing something in Xmas No. about Woburn."


"I see you are a supporter of S.A.C.U. [Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding]. I will try to recollect China in 1903."


"Thank you very much for the book My Chinese Notebook. I have read most of it and am engaged in reading the rest. I find it fascinating and it makes me wish that I had known China before 1911. I am puzzled, as I gather you were, by your name in the index giving a reference to a page which does not exist. I can only suppose that part of the book, for some reason, was suppressed."


"Yesterday Ronald Thomson Grant, Fellow of the Royal Society, Late Research Council at Guy's Hospital is my nearest neighbour on Farley Green. Yesterday he kindly came in to criticize some portrait of mine, such a treat to get criticism). He had seen a notice about this German life of Bertie. Was it true? You will know—if anyone."


"I do not know of any German biography of me. It is possible that there is a German translation of Alan Wood's book, but I have not heard of one."


"I have colour photos of you and hope to call on you in Wales."


"I am anxious to collect together as many as possible family papers of our own and earlier times. It seems to me that many of them are of interest and that interest will be increased if they are together. I already have a large collection of my own and other family letters and documents, and hope soon to arrange some permanent place for them to be housed. I wonder if you and Flora would be willing to part with papers in this way?"


"I myself have no family papers and dear Aunt Flora is now as muddled that she cannot take anything in. I have no idea if she has any papers or letters but she is so possessive that I don't think she would let anything go. Anyway I'm afraid it's beyond her comprehension now."


"This is to tell we have sad news that Aunt Flora died yesterday afternoon. As we know she had been failing mentally for some twelve months and then recently she had a slight stroke and then another one which was too much for her."


"Thank you for your sad letter informing me of Flora's death. I was very fond of her and her death is a real loss to me."


Molly Eldon was Flora Russell's housekeeper.

"Miss Russell is always talking about you and it gives her great pleasure to have your books near her to look through. The flowers from the garden give her great pleasure and it is nice now to be able to take her daphne, and daffodils from the garden. I have just asked Miss Russell if she would like to send you a message, she said 'Yes'."


"Please show to Bertie and return. It is Giana's actress daughter."


"So afraid this will get lost. Oil painting beautifully packed safely arrived also letters."


"At 11 o'clock a procession of every kind of carriage brought every body from Buckhurst Park and amongst others—my wife that was to be."


"Knole is the most magnificent old house I ever saw. The cluster of Towers you see from Tunbridge road can give you no idea of what it is, court after court, with Towers, turrets, galleries, colonnades, corridors and winding staircases, great halls and chapels, green houses, orangeries, stables, courts and outhouses all running into out of, right and left, and away from each other, covering five acres and all built of old grey stone."


"When we got out the people cheered and my wife cried and I did not make out how I had got there."


A script of a radio broadcast.

"In his Principles of Social Reconstruction, for example, Bertrand Russell admonishes us that 'it is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly."


A draft for an advertisement.

"Vietnam is a war of napalm and chemicals in which children are burned alive. Make such facts known. Send £1 annual subscription for pamphlet series on crises and foreign policy. Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, 3 x 4 Shavers Place, Haymarket, SW1."


"The British Government appears to have conceded the right of Vietnamese spokesmen to enter this country. Now that the United States is talking to the Vietnamese in Paris, Wilson thinks it safe for us to do likewise. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, which started the campaign for free speech on Vietnam, hopes that all sections of the anti-war movement will extend this concession by demanding the frequent appearance of spokesmen of North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. ... We are therefore urging opponents in Britain of the war against the Vietnamese to go to London airport at 11 A.M. on Sunday March 16 to welcome Vietnamese spokesmen and to hear them speak in Trafalgar Square at 3 P.M."


A list of several of BR's articles, in Edith Russell's hand.

"1) 'My Grandmother and Mr. Gladstone' Vogue 102, 15 July 1943, 35, 81
2) 'Experience among Freaks' Vogue 102, 15 Dec 1943, 53, 70–1
3) 'Eccentrics Preferred' Vogue 102, 1 Sept 1943, 103, 162
4) 'Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians: a Period of Dread and Doubt' Listener 39: 211–12, 5 Feb 1948
5) 'Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians: Toleration' Listener 39: 695–7, 29, April 1948
6) 'Rewards of Philosophy, part of an overseas broadcast.' Listener 39: 459, 18 March 1948
7) 'A Turning-Point in my Life' the Saturday Book vol 8 (1948), 142–6
8) 'The Bomb and Civilization' Forward 39 (33), 18 Aug 1945, 1, 3."


"With gratitude, I send you a copy of my further quotation from your Nobel Prize Speech."


A receipt for the payment of one quarter's rent at 34 Russell Chambers.


"This is to confirm a message that I gave over the telephone to the effect that I am willing to accept Mr. Rosen's offer of £4600, and that I shall be glad to know whether he is willing to postpone possession for something like two months. I do not wish to make this a condition of accepting his offer, but it would be a considerable convenience to me if he is willing."

This dictated draft of a letter is on the verso of document .113032, record 109729.


An inventory and valuation of the furniture, contents and property of 41, Queens Road, Richmond.

Edith notes that the "teak oblong dwarf table", "walnut dwarf table on cabriole legs" and the "Pilmore electric refrigerator" were bought by Dinah Avery.


BR thanks Degen for his letter of 1955/11/04 and the mimeo ts. of the chapter from his book Age Without Fear. BR offers his own thoughts about being happy in old age.

BR remembers having a difficult time getting into Cooper Union.

The dictation for this letter is available at record 14354.


Hocking invites BR to be the William James Lecturer and provides details about the subject, type of lecture, and remuneration.


BR is honoured to be invited to be the William James lecturer; however, he has obligations at the University of California, and does not have any material prepared, nor would he have time. He could speak on semantics, but fears it "would be too technical and of insufficient general interest". He asks if 1942-43 would be possible.


Hocking insists that the topic of semantics would not only be appropriate for the William James lectures, but desired. He hopes that BR and the University of California will be able to find a way for him to be able to come to Harvard to give the lecture. The next opportunity would not arise until 1944-45.


Hocking responds to BR's questions about giving the William James Lectures (see record 54089).


Hocking is pleased BR has agreed to give the William James Lectures. He provides some schedule options and asks BR to respond with his preference quickly. Dr. Henry Sheffer will not be at Harvard while BR is there, but Dr. Rudolf Carnap will be there in his place.


There are 2 copies of this well typeset and printed document concerning Russell's sentence. It was enclosed with a mimeographed plea (record 117697) to organizational secretaries to send support for mitigation of the sentence.


"I enclose a copy of a letter that has gone to a few universities. Could you let me know what you think of the approach and, in particular, whether you could assist in interesting your university as well."


"I enclose a copy of a letter that has gone to a few universities. Could you let me know what you think of the approach and, in particular, whether you could assist in interesting your university as well."


"We should certainly welcome the participation of the University Library of University of California, Los Angeles in negotiations for the Bertrand Russell archive and shall write in the near future regarding this."


"I am most grateful to you for your kindness with Moore's letters. I shall certainly inform you of anything interesting I turn up and hope we can remain in touch."


"The Bertrand Russell archives will be made available in the near future and we should be pleased to consider the offer of Boston University."


"Thus the acquisition of the papers of Lord Russell would unquestionably enrich our resources for the study of twentieth-century history by adding another important dimension."


"I would be delighted, of course, to see Princeton acquire that important collection, and I have written accordingly to the Director of our Firestone Library."


"Lord Russell's distinguished work is much admired here, and it would be an honor indeed to be the repository of this important archive."


An investigation was conducted by Michael Lester at Allen and Unwin to determine the availability of unpublished Russell essays. 


"You will remember that we discussed on the telephone the serious possibility of interesting the Italian publisher Feltrinelli in the Archives. I have discussed this further with our man from Rome, and he suggests that you write to Feltrinelli about the Archives, saying that you believe that Feltrinelli comes to London from time to time and would it be possible to meet him in London to discuss the matter."


"I enclose the letter about the archives from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [not present]. It has not been acknowledged."


"Actively pursuing potential donors".


"Unable raise money appreciate your sympathetic cooperation".


"Concerning Bertrand Russell archives please send us direct a copy of unedited draft of the catalog".


A "with compliments" note was inserted between the front cover and front free endpaper of Edward Lear's Nonsense Books (Russell's Library, no. 587). BR evidently gave the book (signed Bertrand Russell) to Lady Sarah Russell (see record 121881). [In May 1967 it was recorded as being in Russell's Library. See record 121881.]


"As discussed we are working on the hypothesis that Russell's political activities are too important and urgent to possibly stop for a short period and that therefore we must accept a measure of hostility and positive non-interest (or diminution in price) for the Archives. We trust that the intrinsic value plus hard work will bring us a successful sale."