Lucy's Future Plans

Lucy’s teenage years were marked by interpersonal difficulties with her family and a simultaneous struggle to pass her entrance examinations to Oxford and Cambridge. Though Lucy received private coaching in mathematics, the subject she wanted to study at university, she was not able to achieve a place at one of her preferred schools. It was not until 1970 that she was accepted on a course in anthropology and politics at the University of Kent. 

In 1972, Lucy was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia, as her father had been years before her. While John Russell had the support of his mother, Dora, to fall back on following his first hospitalization, Lucy appears to have had few support networks in her adult life. Nonetheless, she made plans for her future, as all young people do. Her notes and diary entries emphasize her desire for emotional and financial stability and the preservation of a harmonious  interpersonal environment. Her notes also speak to her desire to resolve the inner turbulence caused by the absence of her mother. In one long prose piece, Lucy writes about Susan’s signification as a mother. While the piece begins from a place of abstraction, it concludes with a moving personal enjoinder to herself: “We have Susan; we have our necessary identity because of her, we have the appearance of the rejecting mother [. . .] Rejection of Susan as usual, as useful, resulted in chaos. I have to say I am her daughter [. . .] I can understand, but I can’t forgive. What can I do to mend the hole? Make a woman, where a mother should be, a person in whole.”


Excerpt from miniature pocket diary, 1969

Here Lucy writes about what she wants out of life. She says, “What I want, by me: A home, a man, a child, a career, a livelihood, a group of friends, to travel, to advance mentally, to be high to be healthy to be happy [. . .]”.


Loose note from Lucy

In a loose note, Lucy writes to herself, “Where can I get a place which is quiet, with people if possible, where I can have my books and all my things around me in some kind of order…?”


Still life painting of orange

Lucy created many paintings and drawings. This still life painting of an orange is typical of her work; vibrant colours are balanced in a controlled frame.


Prose piece about Susan Russell

In this six-page prose piece, Lucy writes of her complex feelings toward her family members, particularly her mother.


Handwritten copy of Dylan Thomas poem "And death shall have no dominion"

Lucy was fond of this poem and copied it out many times. This is an incomplete transcription of the original poem.

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