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Russell in the bushes

Frederic Raphael assesses the life of Bertrand Russell, the philosopher who, if he was close to being a genius, was even closer to being a shit

I first saw, and heard, Bertrand Russell when I was 11 years old. My grandmother then lived in a block of flats in Gloucester Place, which had a restaurant on the ground floor. In 1943, wartime regulations limited the price of a meal to five shillings, though there was a permitted supplement (2s/6d) for smoked salmon. Having dutifully visited my bedridden grandmother, my mother and I were placed, at lunch, at a table next to Russell and his schoolboy son Conrad (the second of that name), to whom he addressed himself, in a consonantal tone, as if he were an…

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