Reginald Sherring Partridge (1894 – 30 November 1960), generally known as Ralph Partridge, a member of the Bloomsbury Group, worked for Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf, married first Dora Carrington and then Frances Marshall, and was the unrequited love of Lytton Strachey.
He was born in 1894, the son of Reginald Partridge, of the Indian Civil Service.
Partridge was an Oxford friend of Dora Carrington's younger brother Noel. They met in 1918. Partridge fell in love with Carrington and eventually, in 1921, Carrington agreed to marry him even if she was in love with Lytton Strachey. Strachey was himself more interested in Partridge. An added complication was Dora Carrington's intermittent affair with one of Partridge's best friends, Gerald Brenan. Carrington, Partridge, and Strachey shared a Wiltshire farm-house, Ham Spray, in a complex triangular relationship later recorded in the 1995 film Carrington. Though Strachey spoke openly about his homosexuality with his Bloomsbury friends, and had relationships with a variety of men including Partridge, details of Strachey's sexuality were not widely known until the publication of a biography by Michael Holroyd in the late 1960s.
In 1926, Partridge left Carrington to live with Frances Marshall, whom he had met while she was working at the London bookshop owned by David Garnett and Francis Birrell; at that time Partridge was working for Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press. Meanwhile, Carrington had an affair with Bernard ‘Beakus’ Penrose, who was a friend of Partridge. After Carrington committed suicide in 1932, shortly after Lytton Strachey's death, Ralph and Frances married in 1933. The couple had one son, (Lytton) Burgo Partridge (1935–1963). They lived in London during the week and repaired to Ham Spray at weekends. They lived happily at Ham Spray until Ralph's death in 1960.
In popular culture
- A Pacifist's War (Hogarth Press, 1978) by Frances Partridge is an account of Ralph and Frances' life as pacifists during the World War II, when Ralph refused call-up to the Home Guard, finally being recognised as a conscientious objector by the Appellate Tribunal.
- Steven Waddington portrays Partridge in the 1995 British biographical film Carrington written and directed by Christopher Hampton based on the book Lytton Strachey by Michael Holroyd.
- Christian Coulson portrays Partridge in the 2002 British-American drama film The Hours directed by Stephen Daldry based on the 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Michael Cunningham.
- Laurence Fox portrays Partidge in the 2003 Goya Award winning Spanish film Al sur de Granada, written and directed by Fernando Colomo, based on the 1957 autobiographical book South from Granada by Gerald Brenan.
- "Ralph Partridge". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- "Lytton Strachey: The New Biography" by Michael Holroyd, 1994, p.485
- Frances Partridge, Bloomsbury groupie – Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved on 23 December 2007
- Holroyd, Michael, Lytton Strachey: A Critical Biography, 447.
- "Bloomsbury laid bare: Frances Partridge reveals the truth about her". The Independent. 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- Nicolson, Nigel (2004-02-09). "Obituary: Frances Partridge". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- Elley, Derek (1995-05-22). "Carrington". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- Willis, John (2004-02-01). Screen World 2003. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781557835284.