BRACERS Record Detail for 19344

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

"Wed. mg. My Dearest Darling—I am longing for a letter from you and hoping there will be one today—"

There are two transcriptions of this letter, both lacking the third paragraph: document .052426, record 99888; document .201125, record 116365.


Letter 69

BRACERS 19344. AL. McMaster
Previous Brixton letter, BRACERS 19343; next letter, BRACERS 18686
Edited by K. Blackwell, A. Bone, N. Griffin and S. Turcon

<Brixton Prison>1
Wed. mg.2

My dearest Darling

I am longing for a letter from you and hoping there will be one today.3 I long to know how Expal. Theatre is going — I shall write again tonight after I have heard from you, if I do hear today. — I am feeling gay today because my mind is working again, after a long time during which it wouldn’t work. I begin to see the plan and outline of the big book4 I want to write. But it is not yet quite clear to me, and when it is clear I shall have all the detail still to do. — I wrote to my brother, a very dignified solemn letter which I thought he could show Cave,5 though nothing in the letter hinted at such an idea. I merely said I was keen on the philosophical ideas I had, and found it very difficult to make much progress with them while I remained here — not only because of the place but because I need libraries and discussion.

Seven weeks more — I wish they were past, but it won’t really be long. I love your big photo — you had had your hair very nicely waved before it was taken! — I am weary of this place, and growing subdued — tired with longing for you, tired of painful tense emotions altogether — but not really unhappy. I have thought so much about the future that I have lost power to believe in it — I feel as if it would always be still future — but that is nonsense.

Am to have business interview with Helen Dudley6 tomorrow. If she can’t come, Clare might come instead. There are things that must be discussed.

My Heart’s Comrade, I love you always with all my soul. All joy for me is with you. I ache for you. I want you terribly, terribly.


  • 1

    [document] The letter was edited from the unsigned, thrice-folded, single sheet in BR’s hand in the Malleson papers in the Russell Archives.

  • 2

    [date] Colette wrote this dating note: “This is probably 14 August C.M.” (document 200332).

  • 3

    hoping there will be one today The letter was a disappointment. See note 3 on “a wretched scrap” next day, 15 August 1918, Letter 71.

  • 4

    plan and outline of the big book The “plan and outline” seem to be the manuscript titled “Bertrand Russell’s Notes on the New Work Which He Intends to Undertake” (RA 210.006570, typed carbon, 210.006571; the carbon, which alone is titled, is printed in Papers 8: App. II). The piece is incorrectly dated there “the first months of 1918”. It was instead the fruit of some months of research in Brixton, and the manuscript has the prison governor’s initials, “CH”. The verso of folio 3 of the manuscript was annotated by BR: “Words, Thoughts and Things. [To be given to Wildon Carr, and shown to any one whom it may interest.]” There is a further note by BR, in pencil: “Carr per Miss Rinder, Thursday”. The manuscript begins: “If circumstances permit, the following is the work upon which I shall be engaged in the immediate future: Plan for a work on ‘Things, Words, and Thoughts’, being the section dealing with cognition in a large projected work, Analysis of Mind.” Rinder told BR in her letter of 5–6 September 1918 (BRACERS 79632) that “Dr. Carr has your notes for your projected work. Don’t understand your reference to typescript for D.W. <Dorothy Wrinch>. Does it refer to a typed copy of these notes?” It surely did so refer. It is safe to assume that this plan of BR’s projected work, written between the morning Letter 69 to Colette and the evening Letter 70 to Ottoline on 14 August, was the one that Carr had in September.

  • 5

    dignified solemn letter ... show Cave BR’s letter of 12 August 1918 to Frank (Letter 67) was forwarded by him to the Conservative Home Secretary, Sir George Cave. But the Home Office was unmoved by BR’s entreaties, with one official minuting that it was “not a letter that would prepossess anyone in the writer’s favour!” (quoted in Papers 14: 416).

  • 6

    business interview with Helen Dudley BR and Dudley were meeting as landlord and tenant. Calling it a business meeting was appropriate, despite their former relationship, for it enabled BR to have an extra, private visitor in the current week. Although Dudley had been renting BR’s flat, she was not living in the flat at this time — she had sublet it to Colette’s sister, Clare Annesley (1893–1980), an artist. Colette had just found Clare a new flat near Baker Street. Dudley was preparing to return to the US after spending four years in England. She had arrived thinking she would make her life with BR, but that didn’t happen. For the upshot of the meeting, see Letters 71 and 78.

Transcription Public Access
Record no.
Record created
May 26, 2014
Record last modified
Jul 23, 2021
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