BRACERS Record Detail for 19041

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Collection code
Recent acquisition no.
Document no.
Box no.
Source if not BR
Malleson, Constance
Malleson, Constance
O'Niel, Colette (aka)
Form of letter
BR's address code (if sender)
Notes, topics or text

"I don't know what you would like me to call you, so for the moment I won't call you anything...."

There is also a typed copy of this letter, document .201101, numbered “1”, record 115257, which also contains an annotation.





BRACERS 19041. ALS. McMaster. SLBR 2: #276
Edited by S. Turcon. Reviewed by K. Blackwell

57 Gordon Square
W.C.1 ,2

I don’t know what you would like me to call you, so for the moment I won’t call you anything … I want to get to know you — I know so little about you as yet. I want to talk about a thousand things — but when? I seized yesterday evening because moments are few and precious. Think that a Zepp3 was being brought down in flames while we were talking last night!4 Think of the hatred and despair and brutal triumph that was going on at the very moment — how strange contrasts are.

The Committee5 waits for me and I must fly. You were so kind and dear last night. I wonder if you know what a joy it is to find you emerged young into the life you want — not battered and weary with struggle as we older people are. I get so oppressed often with the waste. I wonder what your thoughts are — let me see you again when it is possible.


  • 1

    [document] Document 200004. There is also a typed copy of this letter, document 201101, numbered 1.

  • 2

    [date] The supplied date is taken from “Letters to Bertrand Russell from Constance Malleson, 1916–1969”, p. 1; ts. in RA. For most of Colette’s letters to BR there is only this highly edited typescript of 24 September 1916. Colette did much of the work on it, although its official editor was her friend Phyllis Urch. Many of her original letters which BR had returned to her were supposedly lost in a fire after the typescript was prepared. Other original letters could not be returned to her because they had either been lost or destroyed and thus they do not appear in the typescript. Some original letters have survived in RA, however, and they are cited over the typescript version when they exist.

  • 3

    Zepp Two Zeppelins were downed in the early morning hours of 24 September. One was brought down in Billericay, a suburb 28 miles east of central London. The report in The Times, “The Attack on London”, 25 Sept. 1916, p. 12, referred only to “a suburb”. BR presumably read a report in a Sunday newspaper. In December 1916 BR inserted this sentence in his “Open Letter to President Wilson”: “The fall of the blazing Zeppelins in sight of the London crowds raised a howl of craven triumph which made all men of courage ashamed to belong to the human species” (2 in Papers 14: 567). Then he deleted it.

  • 4

    while we were talking last night! At her flat, 43 Bernard Street, WC1, nicknamed “the Attic”.

  • 5

    The Committee The National Committee of the No-Conscription Fellowship, founded by Fenner Brockway and Clifford Allen in November 1914. BR was involved in the NCF as an associate member. The National Committee met on 23 and 24 September (Papers 13: xcii).

SLBR 2: #276
Transcription Public Access
Record no.
Record created
Mar 16, 2017
Record last modified
Mar 21, 2024
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