Record no. Notes, topics or text

An index card with notes on it was inserted between pp. 334-5 of Wallace's The Logic of Hegel (Russell's Library, no. 1596). The notes are in an unidentified hand.


BR thanks the van der Hoops for their kindness while he stayed with them and reports that his journey was smooth.


Full text. Rifaat is Minister Secretary of the Arab Socialist Union, U.A.R. Rifaat tells BR his talks with Nicholas Johnson were "very fruitful", and that Al-Ahram published BR's article on Saudi Arabia. Rifaat suggested that BR send a "lengthy article re nonalignment for the monthly Arab magazine El Katib." See record 68249. At the foot of the page, in Schoenman's hand, is a draft of a cabled response sent 12 September 1964.

Article in preparation and will be sent shortly. Eagerly awaiting decision regarding our proposals. Kind regards B.R.


BR declines an invitation to the Fourth Erewhon Dinner.


BR declines an invitation to the Sixth Erewhon Dinner.


BR doubts he will be in London on 1957/05/23 to see Piper.


BR is writing about the first paragraph of his article "Government by Propaganda" for the Encyclopaedia Britannica's These Eventful Years. BR notes that he's had to add in material that had been in footnotes, especially a reference to Cardinal Allen's Administration, and requests that these changes be kept.


BR thanks Gray for his letter of 1964/06/01, but is unable to write further "as my time is entirely occupied with the struggle to avert war". BR encloses literature about the BRPF and requests a donation.

The carbon copy is available at 9203.


BR sends literature on the BRPF outlining the aims of the organization. He requests financial support and suggestions of names of anyone else who might be interested.

The carbon is available at record 11427.


BR sends three copies of his signature because he cannot sign three books in person.


BR admires Halfill's opposition to capital punishment and the military machine.


The carbon is available at record 24224.


BR thanks Verhagen for her letter and encloses the requested signed photograph. Asks for contribution to the BRPF.

The typist misspelled this correspondent's name.

The carbon of this letter is available at 11239.


BR has filled out a card indicating that the topic of his talk on 1938/05/12 at the London Peace Pledge Union meeting will me "Can War Stop Fascism?". A note has been added to say that a reminder was sent to BR on 1938/05/06 in an unknown hand.


BR sends his autograph.


BR sends a photograph in lieu of a poem.

The carbon is available at 25966.


A covering letter to the attached letter regarding Griffith Barry [not included].


BR will undertake his next book after "Marriage and Morals" on the terms in Liveright's letter of 1928/10/22: £500 on signing the contract and £500 on publication, as an advance on royalties at 15%. BR says he will finish in the summer of 1930. He appreciates the work they did on "Education and the Good Life".


BR apologizes for not being able to reply sooner or to accept the invitation, he has been overwhelmed by mail since his release from prison. BR has made a small correction on wording.

The uncorrected carbon is available at 44218.


Full text.

30 Sydney Str SW3

Dear Mr. Harrod

I am very sorry, I haven't been working at philosophy lately, & shan't be for another 2 months or so, so I can't give you a paper just now. I could probably give one next autumn, but just at present I have no time for philosophical work. I should like to come & read a paper to the Jowett Society when it is possible.

Yours very truly
Bertrand Russell.


"I have just seen the Dr." Mouth cancer proved unreal.


Previous letter to Morrell, 17108; next letter, 17109


I have just seen the Dr. who says there is nothing much the matter, and has suggested a few simple remedies. There is, he says, nothing whatever of the slightest importance. This is a relief from what should have been a grave anxiety, though I can’t say it was, because I forgot about it except at moments. You will feel at first that I ought to have told you sooner, but if you think it over you will, I am sure, agree that it would have quite unnecessarily ruined our three days. What happened was this: The day before Easter I went to a dentist who happened to be also a qualified Dr. He became interested in a patch on my skin, and said he thought it was cancer. I felt sure he was a faddist and unreliable, but he recommended a specialist whom I have just seen, and who entirely scouts the idea. I knew if I said nothing about it I could forget about it, till it was decided, and I was determined not to spoil our days. The letter addressed “Prof. Russell” which reached me was from the specialist making the appointment. At first I thought I was bearing the anxiety well, and then I discovered I was enjoying it — it gave a heightened sense of life. This surprised me. I had often thought of being told one had cancer, and supposed it would be horrible — perhaps the certainty would have been, but the chance, which I never believed really, was not. Don’t be angry with me for having kept it back. If it had been true, it would have destroyed our one chance of real complete happiness to have told you. Being false, it would have been a sheer waste. I should not hereafter keep silence on such a matter, but you will see that I couldn’t be expected to give up the last chance of really complete happiness, which it would have been if true. However, now it is all right, unless you are angry. I must stop.

Goodbye Darling Goodbye. Please don’t be angry.


  • Ottoline Morrell Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873–1938), Bloomsbury hostess, patron of the arts and artists, and object of literary caricature by D.H. Lawrence and Aldous Huxley. Born a Cavendish-Bentinck, she was the half-sister of the sixth Duke of Portland.
  • [address] Russell wrote from London, not Cambridge as the letterhead would indicate.
  • [document] A closing parenthesis in pencil is found at the end of the last paragraph, after “I must stop.” See the [document] note to letter 17108 for the opening parenthesis.
  • I have just seen the Dr. The specialist is not known. In letter 17107 Bertie had told Ottoline that he was to go next day (26 April) “to see a Dr. about a small affection of the skin inside my mouth, which my dentist tells me I ought to have cured.” See his later account of the episode (Auto. 1: 204) for the worry that the spot was cancerous; also SLBR 1: 347 and Monk 1: 215–16. Ottoline suspected something, asking what the doctor said about his mouth in her letter 113386 crossing his.
  • a few simple remedies It is unclear exactly what the remedies were for, though Russell later had a gum disease. He may have already been “suffering from pyorrhoea, although I did not know it” (Auto. 1: 206). SLBR 2: 45 dates the disease and cure to 1914–15.
  • our three days At Studland, 18–20 April 1911. Ronald W. Clark is good on the background to  Studland (The Life of Bertrand Russell [London: Cape/Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975], pp. 137–40).
  • day before Easter Easter Sunday was 16 April in 1911.
  • a dentist Dr. Willey Ditcham (as  noted by Russell on letter 78619, dated 1 April), and otherwise identified as Dr. Wm. Vooght Ditcham, MD, DDS. He seems to have been from Cape Colony and in practice as a dental surgeon since before 1885. He published Our Teeth; Care and Preservation in 1895.
  • letter addressed “Prof. Russell” The specialist’s letter does not survive in RA.
  • angry Ottoline responded to his expression of guilt, “how could I be angry Bertie. That is out of the question” (27 April 1911, letter 113387).

Edited by K. Blackwell 2017/04/27
Verified twice with colour scan of original: K. Blackwell 2017/04/18 2017/04/19
Transcribed AD 2014/04/08
Proofed AW 2014/05/22
Exp AD 2014/07/30
TS Checked AW 2014/11/06


A piece of clear plastic (possibly exposed film) was inserted between pp. 46–7 of The Poetical Works of William Blake (Russell's Library, no. 948). The "poetical sketch" on these pages is titled "Contemplation".


The book's ribbon marker is between pp. 446–7 of The Oxford Book of Italian Verse (Russell's Library, no. 941), where Leopardi's "L'Infinito" is printed.


The first two pages of Jean Piaget's "Classes, Relations et Nombres" was inserted between the end paper and the second to last page of Gottlob Frege's Begriffsschrift, eine der arithmetischen nachgebildete Formelsprache des reinen Denkens (Russell's Library, no. 89). The note written on the first page, reads: "Au grand logicien br, le fondateur de la logistique moderne Hommage respectueux d'un psychologue, neophyte en logistique Jean Piaget, Genéve le 19 juin 1946."


Two borrower's cards were inserted between pp. iv-v of William James' The Principles of Psychology (Russell's Library, no. 661). Both cards note Russell's address as Little Datchet Farm, he borrowed J.D.S. Pendlebury's The Archaeology of Crete and Vere Gordon Childe's New Light on the Most Ancient East.


Six pages of notes were found in Russell's copy of Analysis of Mind (Russell's Library no. 3090). The first set of pages, numbered 1-3, are title: Corrections in "Analysis of Mind". The second set, also numbered 1-3, is titled: Desire and Purpose.


An envelope was inserted between pp. 214-5 of John Stuart Mill's Autobiography (Russell's Library, no. 1074).


A George Routledge & Sons business reply card was inserted between pp. 188-9 (on memory) of John B. Watson's Behaviorism (Russell's Library, no. 1615).


BR thanks him for his letter and the brochure.

The record for the carbon is available at record no. 108448.


BR feels the Campaign's current policy will only be effective by endorsing civil disobedience. He plans to make a statement to this effect at his first opportunity. He invites Muirhead to join "The Committee of 100" and requests he reply quickly.


Muirhead responds to BRs letter of 1960/10/02, indicating his interest in the formation of the Committee of One Hundred.


"I have not studied existentialism at all carefully but what I know of it makes me think that it is rubbish."

Photograph shows item with envelope.


BR requests the recipient to notify him of any material they may possess relating to him or his family. The recipient's name and address has been cut out of the paper, but it was mailed to an address in New York city.


A top corner from a sheet of lined paper was inserted between pp. 6-7 of G. Lowes Dickinson's The Meaning of Good (Russell's Library, no. 1762).


Patricia is concerned that BR will find the furnishing of the house dull, but colour will come. BR is to buy John and Kate's presents himself. Patricia has spent $1000 on furniture, partly on credit, and the total will probably come to $3000.


The present record has been created for the message to Ottoline Morrell in record 19326. "Dear Miss Rinder—Many thanks for your letter, which was full of just the things I wished to know." BR forgot to tell Frank Russell that his letters must not be circulated to any one with the messages left in.

The message begins "To Lady O. Very many thanks for message. Will send Madame de Boigne."

The letter also contains messages to Constance Malleson (using 4 identities: giver of the green vase, her stage initials, G.J., and Percy), Ottoline Morrell, Elizabeth Russell, Ernest H. Hunter.

There are three transcriptions of this letter:

Document .201172, record 116600.
Document .200299c, the carbon, record 19328.
Document .054844, record 79638 (condensed).
There is also an extract in mimeo .080038af, record 117607.


BR thanks Parkhurst for her letter and book on Beauty. BR says her letter makes his "mouth water with all the lovely places you have been seeing". He has not been to the Near East or Greece. BR alludes to a large dinner where they had met before, wishing that they could meet again, but doubts that it will happen.


The letter, written in French, details the book Subercaseaux wrote. The letter was included with a copy of Subercaseux's Jemmy Button, dedicated to Russell.