Though free celebrity sex tape, sex video, sex scene, sex movie are ranked highest today, the sex story in the
Private Life of Bertrand Russell, which you are reading is engaging and enlightening. The Philosopher, Mathematician, and Rationalist (born: May 18, 1872 died: February 2, 1970 aged 97 years) who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 had not only radical views, but lead personal sex life that was ahead of his time.
Here is the beginning of my post.
Russell’s mother Catherine (née Stanley) was from an aristocratic family, and was the sister of Rosalind Howard, Countess of Carlisle.
Bertrand Russell’s father, Viscount Amberley, was an atheist and consented to his wife’s affair with their children’s tutor, the biologist Douglas Spalding. Both were early advocates of birth control at a time when this was considered scandalous.
Russell’s father died of bronchitis following a long period of depression in January 1876.
Frank and Bertrand were placed in the care of their staunchly Victorian grandmother, the Countess Russell (née Lady Frances Elliot), who was the dominant family figure for the rest of Russell’s childhood and youth.
The countess was from a Scottish Presbyterian family, and successfully petitioned a British court to set aside a provision in Amberley’s will requiring the children to be raised as agnostics. Despite her religious conservatism, she held progressive views in other areas (accepting Darwinism and supporting Irish Home Rule), and her influence on Bertrand Russell’s outlook on social justice and standing up for principle remained with him throughout his life – her favourite Bible verse, ‘Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.’ (Exodus 23:2), became his mantra. However, the atmosphere at Pembroke Lodge was one of frequent prayer, emotional repression and formality; Frank reacted to this with open rebellion, but the young Bertrand learned to hide his feelings.
Russell’s adolescence was thus very lonely, and he often contemplated suicide. He remarked in his autobiography that his keenest interests were in sex, religion and mathematics, and that only the wish to know more mathematics kept him from suicide. He was educated at home by a series of tutors, and he spent countless hours in his grandfather’s library.
His brother Frank introduced him to the work of Euclid, which transformed Russell’s life.
Love Marriage Despite Opposition
He soon fell in love with the puritanical, high-minded Alys, who was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, and, contrary to his grandmother’s wishes, he married her in December 1894.
How Russell ditched his wife?
Their marriage began to fall apart in 1902 when it occurred to Russell, while he was out on his bicycle, that he no longer loved her; they divorced nineteen years later, after a lengthy period of separation. Alys pined for him for these years and continued to love Russell for the rest of her life.
Bertrand Russell’s Affairs
During this period, Russell had passionate (and often simultaneous) affairs with a number of women, including Lady Ottoline Morrell and the actress Lady Constance Malleson.
Romance with Dora
Russell and his flame Dora were together in China and Japan. On the couple’s return to England in 1921, Dora Black was five months pregnant, and Russell arranged a hasty divorce from Alys, marrying Dora six days after the divorce was finalised. Their children were John Conrad Russell, 4th Earl Russell and Katharine Jane Russell (now Lady Katharine Tait). Russell supported himself during this time by writing popular books explaining matters of physics, ethics and education to the layman. Together with Dora, he also founded the experimental Beacon Hill School in 1927. After he left the school in 1932, Dora continued it until 1943.
Extramarital Affair of Dora
Russell’s marriage to Dora grew increasingly tenuous, and it reached a breaking point over her having two children with an American journalist, Griffin Barry.
Russell’s third wife
In 1936, he took as his third wife an Oxford undergraduate named Patricia (“Peter”) Spence, who had been his children’s governess since the summer of 1930.
The Principles of Mathematics soon made Russell world famous in his field. published in 1910.
Bertrand Russell’s view on Religion
Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. […] A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
– Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
One who believes as I do, that free intellect is the chief engine of human progress, cannot but be fundamentally opposed to Bolshevism as much as to the Church of Rome. The hopes which inspire communism are, in the main, as admirable as those instilled by the Sermon on the Mount, but they are held as fanatically and are as likely to do as much harm.
– Bertrand Russell, The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, 1920
And here is the rest of it.