Portrait by Roger Fry from the NPG here

-that these two had a love affair is just one more of the things that make up OTTOLINE- another is that these two connected so deeply on a spiritual level.
For Ottoline it was more than physical-for "Bertie" it was ALL-body and soul.

  Picnic in the Woods 
Ottoline center & Bertrand  right
from the NPG, 1915, here

photograph by Ottoline Morrell, from the NPG, 1915, here.

 This is the prologue to the Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, written on 25 July 1956 in his own hand. The text follows: 

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.   I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy -- ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness -- that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what -- at last -- I have found.With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.   This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me. 
Archive Box Number: Black Display Binder
Having been jailed , in 192 - Ottoline took the reins of Bertie's incarceration- She organized for his current amour Colette to visit on alternate days from herself. Always bringing,

links For This Posting:
Nobel here
The Bertrand Russell Society here
The Bertrand Russell Gallery here
 Miranda Seymour Ottoline's biographer here


  1. For such a brilliant man, I could never understand why he could never find a permanent mate. Did he want an "open marriage" like the others of Bloomsbury? hmmm???

  2. It is hard to say- I think it happens though with many brilliant people. In the era-though after being born as Victorians the loosening of mores had to contribute to it all don't you think? I started this post on my other blog over a month ago- and it is what led me to creating this blog. As it goes along I think exploring OM's own search for the right man is something to exercise.This one has been shortened and was published today because of a post I started about Ottoline's liasons-and so it goes. Her entanglements were so- well entangled- it is hard to keep it straight. As I mentioned I am finding my footing here-with random topics to jump start a definite path. This one of the main reasons the posts are more regular. thanks so much for reading and asking the questions that will guide me going forward. Gaye