Ruth Derham

Biographer & Social Historian

with particular interest in the Victorian Divorce Court

Ruth Derham

New Release

Bertrand's Brother

'A damn good book.'

Nicholas Griffin, Professor Emeritus, McMaster University.

In 1916, Frank Russell - grandson of former British Prime Minister Lord John Russell and member of one the most illustrious of aristocratic families - publicly declared himself 'a socialist and strong individualist'. Neither were usual for a peer of the realm. But then was anything about Frank conventional? From his sending down from Oxford for supposed homosexual practices, to his ten year cause célèbre in the divorce courts, his trial for bigamy in the House of Lords and his subsequent campaigns for divorce law reform, women's suffrage, motorists' rights and birth control, Frank followed his own rebellious path. Read all about it in this, the first biography of Frank Russell to be written, and wonder how it is you've probably never heard of him.

Bertrand's Brother - Ruth Derham

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Frank Russell led a colourful and eventful existence, which has too long been overshadowed by that of his younger brother Bertrand. Ruth Derham has done an exemplary job of detailing Frank's controversial life and ably demonstrates that he was an important figure in his own right, deserving of such attention.

Tim Madigan, ex-President of the Bertrand Russell Society

Praise & Reviews

Ruth Derham is a fine writer. This book has given me a much broader perspective on the period and filled out well people I knew abstractly. It has given me a richer perspective on Santayana too.

Martin Coleman, Director and Editor of the Santayana Edition

Frank's history is related in a convincing and clear way with a thoroughness of research that requires real dedication. I particularly admire the interwoven explanations of background issues at appropriate places and the discussions of legal issues which were easy for me, a layman, to follow.

John G. Slater, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto and Editor of five volumes of The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell

Forthcoming Appearances

9 Oct 2021, 1PM (EST)

Zoom Event - 

Jointly Sponsored by the Bertrand Russell Society

and the George Santayana Society

“An idle and most false imposition”:

A discussion around Frank Russell’s Reputation

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About Ruth Derham

Ruth Derham is an independent scholar and Bertrand's Brother - her first book - is the fulfilment of a long ambition to write. After a career in business and higher education, she now dedicates herself full-time to writing. Her introduction to Frank Russell came quite by chance through her love of literature, and her fascination with his story has led to several published articles in Russell and Overheard in Seville. She is currently working on a companion volume - a selection of Frank's diverse writing and speeches; co-editing a complete edition of Lionel Johnson's Winchester Letters; and researching the history of the divorce court for a forthcoming book on its intrigues in the decadence era.