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Ruth Derham

Biographer & Social Historian

with a particular interest in the Victorian Divorce Court and changing attitudes to marriage and divorce.

New Release

To Be Frank

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 court, 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 his diverse campaigns in his own words in this collection from his desk which reveal his 'frankness', thoughtfulness and humanity and wonder how it is you've probably never heard of him.

To Be Frank: The Politics and Polemics of a Radical Russell by Ruth Derham. A collection from the desk of the 2nd Earl Russell. Radical Victorian politics & the Labour Party.

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Ruth Derham | Biographer and Social Historian with particular interest in Victorian attitudes towards marriage and divorce.

About Ruth Derham

A former health practitioner and university lecturer, Ruth Derham fulfilled a lifelong ambition to write with the publication of Bertrand's Brother in 2021. She now dedicates herself to writing full-time and has a particular interest in changing attitudes to marriage and divorce. Ruth has delivered talks to the Bertrand Russell Society, the Santayana Society and the Wells Society on aspects of Frank Russell's life and career and the role he played in divorce law reform, and is looking forward to the release of two new books: The Complete Winchester Letters of Lionel Johnson (ed. with Sarah Green, due Autumn 2023) and Decadent Divorce: Scandal and Sensation in Victorian Britain due May 2024. She is currently researching the life of Virginia Crawford, the enigmatic initiator of the famous Dilke Scandal of 1886.

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