BRACERS Record Detail
To access the original letter, email the Ready Division.
This is an official letter. The envelope was marked "VII" at a later date. The initials "CH" (Carleton Haynes, the governor of Brixton Prison) are at the top of the letter.
The letter contains messages from Frank Russell, C.O'N. (Constance Malleson), G.J. (Constance Malleson), Ottoline Morrell, J.R.M. (James Ramsay MacDonald), Philip and Mrs. Philip (perhaps Snowden), J.B. (Joan Beauchamp), L.S. (Lytton Strachey), V.T (Violet Tillard), Clare (Annesley), Dorothy Wrinch. Philip and Mrs. Philip send their kindest regards and regret there is nothing they can do. Violet sends her love—she is going on holiday and will get Mysticism and Logic as a present. Colette is also referred to in the letter as "C" and "Percy".
W. GLADYS RINDER TO BR, 21 JUNE 1918
BRACERS 79616. ALS. McMaster
Proofread by S. Turcon and K. Blackwell
14 Westgate Terrace
21 June 1918
Dear Mr. Russell,
It was delightful to see your writing on the breakfast table on Wednesday. If giving myself pleasure is a kindness then I’m kind, otherwise certainly not. I am proud and glad that I’ve had the chance of doing anything, and should really be very sorry if you hesitated to make any suggestions. I shall collect special messages for my letters. About circulating, Lord Russell usually sends Lady Ottoline his original and me some copies. I have not circulated those with messages in except to G.J. and Lady O. who has to return originals. Those you sent me have only been copied whole once for me, by myself, G.J. has originals, I have to have one in case of loss in post etc. In one case your brother cut out half a message from some copies before sending letter to me at all, I wasn’t sure if you meant this to be done, if not would you mind saying I am to have the letters in full.
Messages Lord Russell. [“]The agreement is completed. £10 offered for Scandinavian rights in “Social Reconstruction.” You are to have E’s photo which has been lying three weeks at the prison. Child instructed re £200. Miss Kyle has been asked to call for mss. as you say it is not to go through the post. Later “phone” message to effect Miss Kyle says Unwin has not heard anything of index to Roads to Freedom. Is there to be one? Miss Kyle thought Mr. Cousens would undertake it.” — I’ve asked H.C. who has done nothing but will if you wish, only he must have proofs. Lady R. sends best love.
C.O’N. It was blessed getting your letter. I was so glad, gladder than I can say about your “Roads to Freedom”. I came back on Sunday and had tea with Elizabeth yesterday. I have two or three jobs under discussion but nothing definite. The rush is as usual awful. I have been worried to death this last month over Marie but she is now in a nursing home having had an operation, and is getting well again. — I had a further £2 from Gordon yesterday. Heard Bell speak one day this week but his personality didn’t impress me much. I go quite a lot to the gallery at the Opera. It is tremendously refreshing at the end of the day — last Wednesday “Walküre” and yesterday Boris. Your nice friend Grenfell came to Bell’s lecture with Litvinoff. What you wrote about keeping in touch with the world is so exactly what I’ve been thinking lately. I meet so many people who have taken a refuge from it by cutting themselves off and becoming selfish. — Your picture of the world now is almost identical with Tolstoy’s description of the French army after Moscow — a dumb, dying animal. Miles’s new volume comes out on Monday, Lady Constance will bring you a copy on Wednesday. I saw G.D.H. Cole dining with his fiancée the other night. I feel we shall none of us ever see C.A. again. I suppose the war will still go on even if France comes out.” — end C O’N. From G.J. “I have been thinking a good deal about our friend Monsieur Chatsauvage and his new book. He reminds me continually of Tolstoy’s Prince Andrei, and also of Count Bezukhov. One is apt to attribute only to foreigners that peculiar charm that comes of a ‘highly spiritual and intellectual life’. Chatsauvage certainly has this quality peculiarly developed. I also find in him that terrific concentrated Heraklietos outlook on the world, the ‘dry soul’ combined with all this[.] [T]here is about his work a terrific simplicity and a childlike loveableness curiously reminiscent of Pierre Bezukhov.”
From Lady O. “Please say I was very interested in Mathematical Journal and I return it to him with many thanks — I hope my notes may prove me a good mathematical scholar! — I should be glad of another lesson when he has time to give me one.” — She wrote in v. great haste. She is coming up to London next week and we hope to meet, I do like her so very much. — J.R.M. sends kindest regards and wishes you to know that he almost entirely shares your view on Brest Litovsk Treaty and its results. Philip and Mrs. Philip also send kindest regards, they very often talk of you but there does not seem to be anything they can do. J.B. says “I feel very mean being free while my fellow stickleback is still in prison. Glad to hear you are so cheery. Have your tried a caterpillar as a companion?! I brought in a beautiful green one from exercise — unfortunately he got lost before I had taught him many tricks! Am now spending all my spare time in agitations against prison. Very best wishes.” From L.S. “There has been an amusing discussion in the Manchester Guardian as to the rival merits of British and Australian nightingales. An Australian at the front contributed a letter in which he deprecated further discussion as a possible cause of friction between England and Australia and concluded “Bertrand Russell is in prison for less”! Much love from all at Chalk Pit Cottage. E.E.H. [Ernest E. Hunter] is with us for holiday. Yesterday I found Percy [illegible last name] shaking him out of bedroom window like a duster. The cries were pitiful!” — V.T. sends love, think of her 4 July. She goes for holiday tomorrow and “Mysticism” is to be presented as a parting present! I had tea at 34 [Russell Chambers] with Clare yesterday, how nice it is, I longed to sit down and read yr. books. She wants you to know she is “treating your possessions like the golden candle sticks on the altar.” Miss Wrinch, who is great dear, says “Pilsbury Psychology of Reasoning must, I am afraid go back to Camb. by June 27. Address to E.E. Turner, Sydney Sussex College.” I am to tell you she has “taken your advice and embarked on an adventure but it isn’t turning out at all successfully.” She was longing to talk to you and in desperation confided in me. I don’t think your estimate of her (as she retails it) shews your usual insight. The capacity was there, it only wanted arousing. It doesn’t sound very enjoyable, particularly since the little green god made his presence felt. The other half is a friend of yours too! She’s now in the position of the child who said “I wants to go and I wants to stay and I are so miserable! So send her a message, not that she is really unhappy, but she misses you. — I had gorgeous time at Brighton with C. The heavenly serenity of sea seemed almost out of place in this mad world. You don’t need telling how often we spoke of you, if wishes were wings you wouldn’t have been in Brixton. Isn’t retirement sometimes necessary if one is ever to see things in a proper perspective. It is not always selfish. Wish I’d more room. Love from lots of us and very best wishes.
W. Gladys Rinder
So glad flowers reached you.
[VII written in pencil on envelope]
C.H. [initials of Brixton governor]
Record last modified 2023/10/26
Created/last modified by blackwk