Russell, Bertrand

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Russell, Bertrand

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1872-1970

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Bertrand Arthur William Russell, philosopher, logician, peace advocate and social reformer, was born at Trelleck in Monmouthshire on 18 May 1872, the younger son of Viscount Amberley, and the grandson of Lord John Russell, the first Earl Russell. Educated at Cambridge, Russell was a prolific author, publishing his first book, Germany Social Democracy, in 1896, quickly followed by his dissertation, An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry (1897). His principal work, Principia Mathematica, written with Alfred North Whitehead, was published in three volumes, 1910-1913. In addition to philosophy, he wrote books about education, marriage, religion, politics, and many other subjects.

He was an active campaigner against World War I, nuclear weapons, and the Vietnam war. For a time he owned and operated his own school, Beacon Hill, together with his wife, Dora Russell. He was a recipient of many awards and honours, including the Nobel Prize for Literature (1950) and the Order of Merit (1949). He married four times--Alys Pearsall Smith (m. 1894); Dora Black (m. 1921); Patricia (‘Peter’) Spence (m. 1936); and Edith Finch (m. 1952)—and had significant relationships with other women, most notably Ottoline Morrell and Constance Malleson. Russell published an Autobiography in three volumes, 1967-1969. He died at Plas Penrhyn, Merionethshire, Wales on 2 February 1970.

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RC0096

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2015-06-11

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A. Wilson

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