Lady Constance Malleson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lady Constance Malleson in 1922

The Lady Constance Malleson (Colette O'Niel) (24 October 1895 – 5 October 1975) was a British writer and actress (appearing as Colette O'Niel), the wife of actor Miles Malleson and lover of Bertrand Russell.

She was born as Lady Constance Mary Annesley, daughter of Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl Annesley, and his second wife, Priscilla Cecilia Armytage-Moore, at Castlewellan Castle. Her sister, Lady Clare Annesley, was a feminist and pacifist, and stood as a Labour Party parliamentary candidate in the 1920s and 1930s. Her half-sister, Lady Mabel Annesley, became a successful artist and wood-engraver. Constance trained at RADA and married Miles Malleson in 1915. She went on to appear in many West End productions and at least one film, Hindle Wakes. During the First World War, her pacifist opinions brought her into contact with Bertrand Russell, whose mistress she soon became (having agreed with her husband on an "open marriage"). In 1923, she was divorced from Malleson. Her interest in social reform led her to travel abroad, and she carried out lecture tours in Scandinavia in the 1930s and 1940s.

Publications[edit]

  • After Ten Years (1929) (autobiography)
  • The Coming Back (1933) (novel)
  • Fear in the Heart (1936) (novel)
  • In the North, Autobiographical Fragments in Norway, Sweden, Finland: 1936–1946 (1946) (travel)
  • As the Sight is Bent (1964) (edited by Constance Malleson, an unfinished autobiography of her half-sister Mabel Marguerite Annesley with 35 of her wood engravings)

Selected articles about her in Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies[edit]

  • Malleson, Constance (1975) "From: In the North", Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies: Vol. 95: Iss. 1, Article 11. A statement of her attitude to life, reprinted from "In The North". A further quotation ("That love is successful or unsuccessful ... matters not one jot") appears at the end of "The Wisdom of Colette" article, below.
  • Slater, John G. (1975) "Lady Constance Malleson, "Colette O'Niel"", Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies: Vol. 95: Iss. 4, Article 3. An extended obituary. It includes an account of the fortitude with which she faced a stroke suffered in 1964.
  • Malleson, Constance (1976) "The End" Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies: Vol. 96: Iss. 1, Article 5. Early writing, originally published in September 1919 in The English Review, also mentioned at the end of the Season in Repertory Article, below.
  • Gardiner, Bennitt (1976) "Colette O'Niel: a Season in Repertory", Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies: Vol. 96: Iss. 2, Article 5. An account of her season with Hull Little Theatre Company in 1925.
  • Gardiner, Bennitt (1980) "The Wisdom of Colette", Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies: Vol. 100: Iss. 1, Article 6. Convincingly argues she had substantial intellectual calibre in her own right, and did not attract Russell simply by her youth, beauty, freedom from convention and ardent pacifism.

Selected literary and biographical criticism on her[edit]

Foster, John Wilson (2008) in Irish Novels 1890–1940 (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 478–81.