Item RC0940 - Typescript of John Conrad Russell’s Undergraduate B.A. Thesis

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Typescript of John Conrad Russell’s Undergraduate B.A. Thesis

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  • 1943 (Creation)
    Russell, John Conrad

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3 cm textual records (213 pp.).

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Biographical history

John Conrad Russell was the eldest son of Lord Bertrand Russell, philosopher and peace activist, and Dora Russell (neé Black), author and social campaigner.

Born in 1921, John was educated at Dartington Hall School, a progressive co-educational boarding school in Dartington, England. He went on to graduate cum laude from Harvard University, where he completed a B.A. thesis in 1943 entitled “An Analysis of the Principal Occasions and Causes of Failure of Democracy.”

In 1943, John returned to England and enlisted in the Royal Naval Reserve. He married Susan Doniphan Lindsay, daughter of the American poet Vachel Lindsay, in 1946. Soon after their marriage, he adopted her child from another relationship, Felicity Anne. In 1946 and 1948, the couple’s daughters Sarah Elizabeth and Lucy Catherine were born. By 1955, John and Susan had divorced, and in the same year, John experienced his first mental health crisis requiring hospitalization. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. In 1961, he lost custody rights to his children, who remained in the care of Bertrand Russell and his wife, Edith.

When Bertrand Russell passed away in 1970, John inherited his father’s hereditary peerage, becoming the fourth Earl Russell and a member of the House of Lords.

John passed away in 1987, and his title passed to his half-brother, Conrad Sebastian Robert Russell, who became the fifth Earl Russell.

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Typescript of John Conrad Russell’s Undergraduate B.A. Thesis

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Item was acquired with the papers of John’s child, Lucy Catherine Russell. Lucy’s papers and associated records were acquired from Ray Monk in February 2022. Prior to this time, all had been kept by Siân Cooper-Willis, a family friend.


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G. Dunks, 2024.

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