Letter from Lucy to Sarah Russell



Letter from Lucy to Sarah Russell


In this letter to her sister, Lucy describes being broke in London in her young adulthood. She and her boyfriend, Ahmed, “raided” Russell’s flat at Hasker Street, which they found to be a good source of tinned peas, soap, apricots, and Plas Penrhyn letterhead paper. At the time, Lucy was studying to pass her Oxford and Cambridge entrance examinations. Ahmed, who Lucy had met while travelling in Morocco in 1965, was waiting for a UK work permit. In May 1966, two months before Lucy’s eighteenth birthday, Bertrand Russell informed his solicitors of his intent to relinquish all legal and financial responsibility for Lucy (Monk 495-496).


Lucy Russell


1 March 1966


Lucy Russell fonds, Box 19, File 3


443, St. John Street
London E.C.1.
1st March

Dearest Sa [Sarah],

We have got a room which is quite nice & are very comfortable. Ahmed has lost his job at Gigi because I insisted on something, I didn’t know what nights he had to go. I am using the exam papers but can’t get a job today, nuts. We are very broke & I owe a lot of money to the bank.

I don’t see how one can work & study at the same time, as yet…=work & work.

Your Davy Graham is still here, in good hands.

Are you using your typewriter a lot? If not, it could help to get me out of a spot.

I saw Eric, met at King’s Cross Westbound. He is talking about…well, he is very restless & fed up.

We raided Hasker Street…tins of peans, soap, Plas Penrhyn paper, apricots. I had left a rug there. If you want an excuse to go there, say you left your toothpaste on the top right-hand shelf…whisky in the cupboard…There is a set of keys in the 2nd drawer down of The Bureau in the sitting room, if you can think of your toothpaste. Jean will give you the keys. But in the morning, oh boy! The old witch-lady… “Did you stay the night?” I told her I was goin’ to.

T.H. White has written a book about himself & the Sd in the Sta I think.

How are you? Will be very nice to hear from you. Still no work permit.

Love from Lucy.