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 in Holland and reports that his journey home was smooth. He comments on nationalism and culture.


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. The date is taken from the date of the dinner; BR's reply would have been earlier.


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 record 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 the president for his letter and the brochure. The name of this NGO translates as Respect Age International.

The record for the typed carbon is 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 BR's letter of 1960/10/02, indicating his interest in the formation of the Committee of 100 for civil disobedience against nuclear warfare.


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


BR requests the recipient to notify him of any papers he or 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. The recipient could have been the auction house of Charles Hamilton, who in 1963 had sold 4 letters from BR to John Barran (B&R J63.01). This was in an effort to enlarge the Russell Archives. He also wrote to Lester Denonn in the same vein, and Kenneth Blackwell received a similar letter.


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, Beauty: an Interpretation of Art and the Imaginative Life (1930). He has "greatly admired" the pictures and hopes to read the book soon. 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, inscribed to Russell.


This inidicates a new appearance of B&R F37.01, in Papers 21: App. XII. It was offered for sale in July 2017 at

Omitted from the list of signatories are 3 office-holders of the Society.



BR thanks Mikhailusenko for his letter of 8 August 1962 and is glad that he shares BR's nuclear war concerns. The signature appears to be secretarial.

A typed carbon is available at record 100811.

In the Abebooks entry this and 3 other letters are described as follows:

"July-September 1962., 1962. Four letters with their envelopes. 4to and oblong 8vo. Altogether 6 pp. on 6 ff. All addressed to the Russian journalist and poet Igor Mikhailusenko (b. 1932) concerning Russia and the cold war: "[.] I believe that the two German States are equally dangerous. Western Germany is fanatically obsessed with the cold war and Eastern Germany is a cruel, vicious tyranny, capable of keeping its population within its borders only with barbed wire and machine guns. I think that the Government of the Soviet Union and the Government of the United States have a responsibility to come to an agreement which reflects the interests of peace and not the interests of either German State. I think that the problem of West Berlin could be solved in several ways. One would be for a united Berlin to become the seat of the United Nations, another would be for West and East Berlin to become a neutral city under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, and another would be for Berlin to become autonomous, protected through agreement by both East and West [.]" (from the letter of September 5, 1962). - Together with a flyer for Russell's Committee of 100 mass sit-down, originally scheduled for September 9, 1962, but canceled for lack of support. - Generally good, sizes vary." Seller: Antiquariat INLIBRIS Gilhofer Nfg. GmbH.


BR cannot contribute a requested review, because he has too much work on hand. He acknowledges that it would provide him a chance to refute accusations of anti-Semitism against him "without the faintest basis of truth". The book to be reviewed is not identified.


BR will not be able to write any review in the near future. He is about to go to Sicily for a much needed holiday.


The seller's description, including partial transcription of the unshown verso, is as follows:

"Small 4to. 1½ pp. To the British couturière and feminist Elspeth Fox Pitt, née Phelps (1877-1968), thanking for an invitation for himself and his wife "Peter" (i. e. Patricia, née Spence): "[.] Peter + I both wish we could accept it, but [.] I am going to Norway for the British Council, & then to Berlin for the Foreign Office, & while I am away Peter has to look after our son Conrad. However, after the end of October we shall be in London, at 18 Dorset House [.] Dorset House has a restaurant, so we can always give you a meal without difficulty [.]". - On bluish stationery with printed address."


BR asks for Rowe's support in joining the Committee of 100 in acts of civil disobedience.


Covering letter for BR's letter of invitation to Father Rowe. See 131551 for the enclosure of BR's letter.


BR thanks Benjamin for the recent newspaper cuttings. BR has recently written several articles for American publications and is anxious to see responses to them.

Carbon is available at record 74530.


Patricia supplies a list of points with details on the type of house they are looking to buy or rent in North Wales. A schoolhouse is mentioned; it could well be Penralltgoch in Llan Ffestiniog.


The Russells are concerned about finding a house, having sold Grosvenor Lodge "to-day". Not wanting Crawshay-Williams to have to do all the work, Patricia asks that an advertisement be placed in the local paper and to inform any agents in Portmadoc about the Russells and their needs. Patricia also suggests coming to see places herself or that Crawshay-Williams hire a car and send her the bill.

There is an annotated note describing a house in Barmouth.


Patricia thanks Crawshay-Williams for her report and sends some particulars about a house in Bodethin, Harlech. There is a house in Portmeirion that sounds ideal. The Russells have had to spend the weekend in London because BR collapsed from the flu after doing the Brains Trust with a temperature of 102°, but Patricia has had no luck finding a flat in London. Both BR and Patricia are overworked.


Patricia received a letter from Henry, asking her to write to Lord Newborough. Patricia has left her ration book either on the train or in the Crawshay-William's car, or behind the dresser. Patricia thinks that she and BR will like the cottage despite drawbacks. 


The Russells have got the cottage (Penralltgoch in Ffestiniog).


Both Patricia and BR have started reading his book (The Comforts of Unreason). BR is pleased with it. They will be at the Aristotelian on Monday to discuss BR's History and the Brains Trust on Tuesday. Patricia invites Crawshay-Williams to spend any time he is free with them. "We usually have people in on Tuesday evenings".


Patricia apologizes for not being able to attend event. She denies that someone she is fond of would be shocked by Conrad saying "Balls". The woman often says it and worse.

Letter is undated, but likely written between 1947-49.


The Russells may have to let the cottage or stay there all year. Asks if Crawshay-Williams knows anyone who might be interested in a furnished cottage. Patricia needs someone "competent enough to leave in charge of B. and C.'s [Bertie and Colette's] food". She talks of all resigning because the Home Secretary broke his promise of majority representation on the local advisory committee. They go to Sicily about March 22.


Patricia apologizes for being vague about the cook. She explains that BR and Colette had thought to stay in the cottage while Patricia and Conrad were in London, but that it would still belong to Patricia and Conrad during the holidays. Colette won't have a cook. Patricia has offered to leave them the place eventually, insisting that it must either be her cottage or not. BR has decided that he prefers to live there alone while Patricia is in London, so they do still need the cook if she is available or  Patricia will have to look for a live-in housekeeper. An important letter on relationships and the cottage.


Patricia apologizes for asking Crawshay-Williams to keep a telegram and for telling him about it. She insists she "intended no evil to Bertie" and is not spreading stories.


Patricia follows up on the postcard sent the day before, with a longer explanation, and asks Crawshay-Williams to be mindful in how he inquires about information on the Russells. Patricia and BR have been "getting on badly, and that both he and I realise that we shall be better apart".


Dated "Easter Sunday". Patricia thanks Crawshay-Williams for her telegram and explains some of what has been happening between BR and Colette. BR "doesn't understand how one can love a house so much."


Apologizes for bringing the Crawshay-Williams' into her troubles. Insists that she does not want them to think ill of BR.


Lionel Giles has inscribed and sent BR a book (A Gallery of Chinese Immortals [1948]). Patricia refers to them swimming in overcoats, which served to date the letter after Norwegian air disaster that BR survived.


This is a transcription by Rupert Crawshay-Williams of a telegram sent from Patricia to BR. Patricia mentions their lawyers and requests money.

On the verso Crawshay-Williams noted what monies were recently paid to her by Allen and Unwin and that at Easter she had a not insubstantial bank balance:

"5 days before this Allen & Unwin had paid £900 to Peter Russell (royalties on Reith Lectures) and this had been acknowledged by her."

"When they had separated April (Easter) £600 in bank at Cambridge and about £1000 in Child's a/c. So she had £1600 about for 7 months — to herself with no income tax."


Patricia acknowledges Pritchard's letter of 8 August and reminds him that he is responsible to her regarding the larch trees at Penralltgoch and no one else. She will write to Mr Morris and also to her lawyer if necessary.

An additional note has been added to the outside of the envelope in a different hand. This is the same hand as the transcribed telegram (see 131568). Note reads: "Peter being bloody-minded about timber from Penralltgoch".


Pritchard inquired about the timbre from Penralltgoch and was told that BR had left instructions to D.M. Morriss to send firewood equal in price to the trees. Morriss will either send the logs to Llan Ffestinog or the equivalent in money to Patricia, based on her instruction.

Encloses Moriss' address for Patricia to carry on the correspondence as he sees his role in the matter concluded.


BR sent the MS of the letter with his letter of 14 July 1918 to Ottoline Morrell (record 18680).


"There never was such a place as prison for crowding images...." The letter is identified by Edith Russell as being for Ottoline, even though there is a heading "[For any one whom it may interest]". This identification is found in another transcription, document .007052ft, record 9348b. There is another transcription, Rec. Acq. 14, record 117686.

In the Autobiography both designations are used.


Woods offers BR the appointment of William James Lecturer at Harvard now that John Dewey has finished his term. The position is ten public lectures, as well as a course or seminary for advanced graduate students, as well as publication of the lectures.

Source: Dartmouth University, Rauner Special Collections Library, Grenville Clark papers.


BR is very attempted to accept the William James Lecturer position at Harvard. However, he is concerned that he has not worked for a while and would not be able to produce something worth of Harvard. Also, he promised Dora that he would not take on a position that forced him to leave home again. BR requests time to think about it and write to Dora.

Source: Dartmouth University, Rauner Special Collections Library, Grenville Clark papers.


BR declines the lecturer position at Harvard. There is too much work left to Dora when BR is away. "The invitation gave me as much pleasure as the refusal gives me sorrow."

BR filled this position in 1940-41, see B&R A73.

Source: Dartmouth University, Rauner Special Collections Library, Grenville Clark papers.