Patricia Russell, Countess Russell

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Patricia Russell, Countess Russell (1910–2004) was the third wife of philosopher Bertrand Russell, and a significant contributor to his book A History of Western Philosophy.[citation needed]

Countess Russell was born Marjorie Helen Spence in 1910. As her parents had always wanted a boy, she was known as 'Peter'.[1] She met Bertrand Russell in 1930 when she was a twenty-year-old undergraduate at the University of Oxford, hired by Russell's second wife Dora Black as a governess. They had an affair and were married at the Midhurst register office on 18 January 1936. They had one son, Conrad Sebastian Robert Russell, 5th Earl Russell, who became a prominent historian and one of the leading figures in the Liberal Democrat party. They had an acrimonious separation in 1949.[2]


  1. ^ Monk p. 119
  2. ^ Monk p. 306


  • Ray Monk, Bertrand Russell. The Ghost of Madness, London 2000

External links[edit]

  • "Patricia Helen (née Spence), Countess Russell, Third wife of 3rd Earl Russell; daughter of Harry Evelyn Spence". National Portrait Gallery. Details of 12 portraits, 8 of them reproduced