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Archivistische beschrijving
Reeks
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Russell's dictation

Series consists of drafts of correspondence and of articles dictated by Russell to his wife, Edith, and handwritten by her. Most of the letters in this series are also related to correspondence in other series. Some replies are brief, such as those pertaining to meetings or those which merely acknowledge the receipt of letters. Also includes replies pertaining to Russell's peace activities, editorial letters, and letters relating to his opinions on morals, religion, family life, etc. Acquired as part of Archives 1 and 2. As noted in the print finding aid for Archives 2, "It is ... a very useful source of information, not least for being arranged chronologically."

Invitations to Lecture, attend functions and dinners, etc.

This series consists of invitations to lecture, attend functions and dinners, sponsor organizations, etc., largely from 1950 onward. Includes typescript copies of replies from Russell, Chris Farley, and Ralph Schoenman. Acquired as part of Archives 1 and 2. The print finding aid for Archives 2 states: "The invitations filed here are public invitations-mainly to make speeches and attend ceremonies. Some of the invitations came from organizations with which Russell had been associated long ago, such as the Cambridge Heretics. To some he sent messages to be read and possibly published. These files supplement the publishing and political correspondences, which also contain many invitations. The Trinity College, entry contains the business correspondence (mainly form letters) resulting from Russell's life fellowship."

Stanley relatives

Series consists of Bertrand Russell's correspondence with his Stanley relatives ranging from his early life to later years and offers insight into significant events in Russell's life and the nature of his relationships with certain family members. Russell's family members often include their opinions about his writings and activities in the correspondence. Some replies are written by Lady Edith Russell. Letters from Russell are typescript copies, and several incoming letters are typescript copies although most are handwritten or typed originals.

Correspondents include Lady Alice Avebury, Andrew Cunningham, Lady Agnes Grove, Lady Dorothy Henley, Aurea Howard, Geoffry Howard, Nancy Mitford, Elspeth Fox Pitt, G.L. Fox Pitt, Cecilia Roberts, uncle Lyulph Stanley, aunt Maude Stanley, and Fabia Stanley.

Of note are letters from Russell's uncle, Lyulph Stanley, who supported Russell during WWI; some correspondence with Nancy Mitford relating to her book Voltaire in Love; correspondence with Lady Dorothy Henley relating to her book about her mother titled Rosalind Howard, Countess Carlisle; and correspondence with his cousin Elspeth Fox Pitt during Russell's second time in prison in 1961.

Acquired primarily as part of Archives 1, with some additional items acquired as part of Archives 2.

Russell relatives

Series consists of Bertrand Russell's correspondence with his Russell relatives ranging from his early life to later years and offers insight into significant events in Russell's life and the nature of his relationships with certain family members. Letters from family members often include opinions about Russell's writings and activities. Letters from Russell are typescript copies, and some incoming letters are typescript copies although most are handwritten or typed originals.

Some letters, such as those sent from his grandmother, Lady Frances Russell, and aunt, Lady Agatha Russell, refer to his decision not to enter into a political career. Lady Agatha also expresses disappointment regarding rumours of his extramarital affairs in the 1920s, and Aunt Georgiana Peel and her daughter Ethel disagree with his anti-war convictions during WWI.

Correspondence with his cousin Flora Russell from 1941-1967 depicts a close relationship that existed in Russell's later life; the correspondence includes friendly joking and invitations to visit. Russell also received letters from various distant cousins who wished to reconnect or to initiate communication.

Correspondents include his grandmother Lady Frances Russell (box 6.30), his uncles George Gilbert William Russell (box 6.30) and Rollo Russell (box 6.30, 11.08), his aunts Lady Agatha Russell (box 6.29), Lady Georgiana Peel (box 6.29), and Lady Charlotte Portal (box 6.29), and cousins.

Russell's cousins include:

Elizabeth Cobb (box 6.29)
Arthur D. Elliot (box 6.29)
Hugh Elliot (box 6.29)
Margaret Elliot (box 6.29)
Rachel Elliot (box 6.29)
Grace Forester (box 6.29, 11.08)
Margaret and John Lloyd (box 6.29, 11.08)
Leonora Russell de Mello (box 6.30)
Alicia [Russell] (6.30)
Anthony Russell (box 6.30)
Claud Russell (box 6.30)
Cosmo Russell (box 6.30)
Diana Russell (box 6.30)
Flora Russell (box 6.30, 11.08)
George W.E. Russell (box 6.30)
Sir Guy Russell (box 6.30)
Harold Russell (box 6.30)
John W. Russell (box 6.30)
Martin Russell (box 6.30, 11.08)
Maud Russell (box 6.30, 11.08)
Raymond Russell (box 6.30)
Rupert Strong (box 6.30, 11.08)
Gwendoline Villiers (box 6.30)
Rollo Villiers (box 6.30)

Acquired primarily with Archives 1 with some additional items acquired with Archives 2.

Frank Russell - death: condolences, etc.

Series consists of: condolences sent to Bertrand Russell after Frank Russell's death in Marseilles on 3 March 1931 along with typescript copies of his replies; correspondence between Bertrand Russell and Frank's friend, Miss Otter, concerning the ceremony of scattering Frank's ashes, her being Frank's beneficiary, and the valuation of Frank's possessions. Also includes a 1970 screenplay, "Tried by Their Peers, 2. The Trial of Lord Russell (who died in 1931) for Bigamy--1901)", by Donald Thomas; and correspondence between Chris Farley and Barry Feinberg in 1970 regarding Bertrand Russell's 1931 statement about Frank Russell's death.

Frank Russell - politics and the law

Series consists of letters relating to Frank Russell's careers in politics and the legal profession. Many are from members of the House of Lords, where Russell first took his seat in 1887. Acquired as part of Archives 1.

Frank Russell v. Mabel Edith (1st wife) - matrimonial suit

Series consists of papers and correspondence relating to the 1891 matrimonial suit initiated by Frank Russell’s first wife, Mabel Edith Scott, on a charge of cruelty; in addition, there was a charge of a 'gross nature' concerning 'a man called X'. The trial lasted four days and resulted in Russell’s acquittal. Russell's solicitor was A.P. Doulton, of the firm Vandercom, Hardy, Oatway and Doulton, who handled much of Russell's correspondence at this time. Also includes two written testimonies for the court proceedings attesting to Frank Russell's character (filed at the end of the series), as well as Mabel Edith's own incoming correspondence (some photocopies) during 1890-1891 covering topics such as her dissatisfaction with her marriage and her desire to separate from and/or divorce Frank Russell. Acquired as part of Archives 1.

Frank Russell - letters from friends and family

Series consists of Frank Russell's correspondence with family and friends. Incoming correspondence largely consists of handwritten originals; outgoing correspondence consists of typescript copies. Includes copies of approximately 70 letters from Frank to George Santayana, 1887-1898, and 24 letters to Frank from the artist and playwright Laurence Housman, 1898-1925. Acquired as part of Archives 1.

Frank Russell personal items

Series consists of three journals (Jan-Oct 1880, July 1883-Feb 1884, and Feb-Aug 1884 and Jan-Feb 1890) belonging to Frank Russell; handwritten musical score with a song 'Little Frank Russell' (by his grandmother?); three poems in Frank Russell's handwriting, dated July 1883, Oct 1884 and Dec 1884; handwritten poems headed 'Granny to Frank, 1867’ and another in the same hand dated 1897; a poem in unidentified hand dated 1884; letter from Home Office (27 July 1911) enclosing copy of the Free Pardon granted in respect of Frank Russell's bigamy conviction; and manuscript and typescript copy of song lyrics presumably by Frank, headed ‘With Apologies to Messrs Moody & Sankey’. Acquired as part of Archives 1.

Frank Russell correspondence with Bertrand Russell

Series consists of correspondence between Russell and his elder brother, John Francis Stanley (Frank) Russell (1865-1931), spanning from Bertrand Russell's early life until two years before Frank Russell's death. The elder Russell became the 2nd Earl Russell while still a schoolboy in 1878, on the death of his grandfather, Lord John. He was married three times, to Mabel Edith Scott (m. 1890), Mollie Somerville (m. 1900), and author Elizabeth von Arnim (m. 1916).

Some letters in this series were written while Bertrand Russell was in Brixton Prison (May-Aug 1918) and while he was in China and Japan (Sep 1920-Aug 1921). Bertrand Russell's letters which were sent from prison (handwritten originals and typescript copies) contain messages for other individuals such as Lady Ottoline, Whitehead, and Elizabeth Russell, Frank's wife. Also includes correspondence relating to Frank Russell's divorce from Mabel Edith and the resulting felony charge for bigamy and the court case in 1901. The original handwritten letters are often accompanied with a typescript copy. Most of this series was acquired with Archives 1, with 3 items acquired with Archives 2.

97th Birthday

Series consists of approximately 50 birthday letters addressed to Russell for his 97th birthday from individuals and organizations around the world who were both known and unknown to him. Many were sent by admirers of Russell. Russell died at age 97, and thus the items in this series mark his last birthday.

Condolences on Russell's death: general

Series consists of condolences on Russell's death addressed to the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, members of Russell's staff, or his wife Edith Russell. The condolences are from various individuals and organizations who knew Russell personally or were influenced by his life's work. Includes some typed copies of replies from Ken Coates and Christopher Farley, often on behalf of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation or his wife Edith Russell.

Condolences on Russell's death: answered by Lady Russell

As noted in the Archives 2 print finding aid, "Edith Russell received many condolences" following Bertrand Russell's death on 2 February 1970 and "she personally replied to" those included in this series (though copies of her replies are not here). Of note are letters from Dora Russell and John Conrad Russell offering condolences and revealing that they had intended to visit Russell just before his death.

95th Birthday letters

As noted in the Archives 2 print finding aid, "Russell's 95th birthday was on 18 May 1967. There was no public celebration, but some members of the public and friends sent their congratulations to him." Those congratulations are contained in this series of approximately 150 letters.

90th Birthday mementoes/tribute

Russell's 90th birthday on 18 May 1962 was celebrated the next evening at the Royal Festival Hall in London with a musical tribute. Series consists primarily of birthday letters/cards received by Russell from individuals and organizations all over the world, as well as copies of his replies. As noted in the Archives 2 print finding aid, series also includes letters “written chiefly in response to Ralph Schoenman's requests for tributes to be printed in the tribute booklet, Into the Tenth Decade (1962).” Also found in the series are a program for the musical tribute and a signed scroll presented by British Members of Parliament.

Birthday cards, 1950-1969

Series consists of approximately 500 cards congratulating Russell on his birthdays over the years 1950-1969. Includes cards from family members, friends, and other individuals and organizational bodies. Most were acquired with Archives 1, while a few cards dated 1961 were acquired with Archives 2.

Christmas cards, 1950-1969

Series consists of approximately 1,500 cards wishing Russell a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy New Year as well as some typescript copies of replies written by Russell and Edith Russell. Includes cards from family members, friends, and other individuals or organizational bodies.

"Cranks"

Series consists of letters addressed to Russell which are written in a nonsensical, ridiculous and/or indignant manner. Some crank mail elicited a response from Russell or his secretary, Ralph Schoenman, and may include typescript copies of replies, but most letters were left unanswered. A considerable amount of letters are from Peter Askey; one box (11.82) contains only letters received from him. Many letters were also sent anonymously.

Acquired as part of Archives 2, the print finding aid for which states: “Every well-known figure must receive crank mail, but Russell seems to have received more than his share. Possibly it was his reputation as a sage that attracted the letters. His staff regularly annotated such mail "crank". … While there may be nothing so dismal as an anonymous crank letter, pseudonymous crank letters can be very entertaining. See, for example, the letters and enclosed "cheques" (ranging from $5000 to $2,000,000,000) from the Virgin Express Alexandra I.”

Letters from the general public / miscellaneous correspondence

As noted in the Archives 2 print finding aid: “This category of correspondence is formed from those letters that belong neither to series 710, Personal Correspondence, nor to the political, family or publishing series.” While “most of these letters are repetitive in content (e.g., requesting Russell's autograph) and did not elicit significant replies,” some of them touch on his philosophical writings or offer support for his anti-war or anti-nuclear activities. Replies from Russell are typescript copies. Series acquired with both Archives 1 and 2.

The series reflects the influence of Edith Russell on Russell’s filing habits. Prior to 1952, Russell filed the types of letters found here with his Personal Correspondence (series 710). Beginning in 1952, these letters started to be filed separately.

Patricia Spence correspondence (letters received)

Series consists of mostly letters received by Patricia (Peter) Spence from a variety of correspondents, including Russell’s daughter, Kate (Katharine Tait); Spence’s mother, “Mrs. Spence”; Gamel Brenan, Gerald Brenan, Alice Crunden, Moya Llewelyn Davies, Joan Malleson, Miles Malleson, Ottoline Morell, Edna Pearce; and many others. As noted in the RA2 finding aid: “Some letters are addressed to Russell and a few others to both.” Received as part of Archives 2.

Patricia would become Russell’s third wife in 1936. She had served as governess to Russell’s children, Kate and John. Russell separated from the children’s mother, Dora Black, in 1932; they were divorced in 1936.

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