Ada Dwyer Russell

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Ada Dwyer Russell
Ada Dwyer Russell, 1916.jpg
Ada Dwyer Russell, 1916
Born February, 1863
Died July 4, 1952
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
Spouse(s) Harold Russell (1893-1952)
Partner(s) Amy Lowell (1912-1925)

Ada Dwyer Russell (1863–1952), was a Mormon actress of the stage. She performed on stage in Broadway and London.

Dwyer married Harold Russell in 1893 but entered a lifelong separation a few years after their marriage. The couple never sought divorce.[1] In 1909 Russell met writer Amy Lowell. The two entered into long-term lesbian relationship, or a "Boston marriage" (the term for a 19th-century romantic female relationship) beginning in 1912, which would last until Lowell's death in 1925.[2] Russell was the subject of many of Lowell's explicit poems, such as the Taxi. Russell was also the executrix of Amy Lowell's will, and burned all her items upon request.

In The Taxi, Lowell conveys a strong sense of her separation from Russell and her pain. Collected in Sword Blades and Poppy Seed (published in September 1914), The Taxi serves as an excellent example of Amy Lowell's "polyphonic prose", in which she experimented with different "rhythmic units".

Lowell left her fortune in a trust to Ada Russell.[3]


  1. ^ Rigby, Chris,"Ada Dwyer: Bright Lights and Lilacs," Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 43, page 45.
  2. ^ History Project (Boston, Mass.) (1998), Improper Bostonians: Lesbian and Gay History from the Puritans to Playland, Beacon Press, p. 75, ISBN 978-0-8070-7949-2 
  3. ^ Ada Dwyer Russell, Matt & Andrej Koymasky, archived from the original on February 8, 2006, retrieved 2007-07-31 

External links[edit]

The Hervey Allen Papers include correspondence with Ada Dwyer Russell Hervey Allen Papers(Hervey Allen Papers, 1831-1965, SC.1952.01, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh)