Dr. Alfred Salter

Dr. Alfred Salter (1873­–1945), socialist and pacifist physician, replaced BR as Acting Chairman of the NCF in January 1918. For two decades he had been dedicated both professionally and politically to the working-class poor of Bermondsey. In 1898 Salter moved there into a settlement house founded by the Rev. John Scott Lidgett to minister to the health, social and educational needs of this chronically deprived borough in south-east London.

Rupert Brooke

Rupert Chawner Brooke (1887–1915), poet and soldier, became a tragic symbol of a generation doomed by war after he died from sepsis en route to the Gallipoli theatre. Although BR had previously expressed a dislike, even loathing, of Brooke in letters to Ottoline, he too placed him in this tragic posthumous light. Rupert “haunts one always”, he wrote Ottoline shortly after the poet’s death in April 1915, and (five months later) “one is made so terribly aware of the waste when one is here [Trinity College]….

J. Middleton Murry

J. Middleton Murry (1889–1957), critic and editor, was educated in classics at Brasenose College, Oxford, before establishing in 1911 the short-lived avant-garde journal, Rhythm. In May 1918 he married the author Katherine Mansfield, to whose literary legacy he became devoted after her death from tuberculosis only five years later.

G. Lowes Dickinson

Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson (1862–1932) was a Fellow and Lecturer of King’s College, Cambridge, where he had moved inside the same tight circle of friends as the undergraduate BR. According to BR, “Goldie” (as he was fondly known to intimates) “inspired affection by his gentleness and pathos” (Auto. 1: 63). As a scholar, his interests ranged across politics, history and philosophy. Also a passionate internationalist, Dickinson was an energetic promoter of future war prevention by a League to Enforce Peace.

Maurice Elvey

Maurice Elvey (1887–1967) was a prolific film director (of silent pictures especially) and enjoyed a very successful career in that industry lasting many decades. Born William Seward Folkard into a working-class family, Elvey changed his name around 1910, when he was acting. He directed his first film, The Fallen Idol, in 1913. By 1917, when he directed Colette in Hindle Wakes, he had married for a second time — to a sculptor, Florence Hill Clarke — his first marriage having ended in divorce.

J. Ramsay MacDonald

James Ramsay MacDonald (1866–1937) was a prominent dissenter and founding member of the Union of Democratic Control. He had resigned as chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party after most of his colleagues voted for the Asquith Government’s war budget in August 1914. After regaining the Labour leadership, MacDonald formed two minority administrations (1924 and 1929–31).

Edith Russell

Edith Russell (1900–1978) was an American biographer and part-time academic at Bryn Mawr College with whom BR became acquainted through his American friend Lucy Donnelly. She was the author of Wilfred Scawen Blunt (1938) and Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr (1947). The former Edith Bronson Finch became BR’s fourth wife in 1952. She was a director of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.

Priscilla Annesley

Lady Priscilla Annesley (1870–1941), second wife of Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl of Annesley (1831–1908) and mother of Lady Constance Malleson. Colette described her mother as “among the most beautiful women of her day” with a love of bright colours and walking (After Ten Years [London: Cape, 1931], pp. 12–14).

Marie Blanche

Marie Blanche (1891–1973) studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts where she met Colette. She sang as well as acted and had a successful career on the London stage in the 1920s. A photograph of her appeared in The Times, 20 March 1923, p. 16.

Stanley Unwin

Stanley Unwin (1884–1968; knighted in 1946) became, in the course of a long business career, an influential figure in British publishing and, indeed, the book trade globally — for which he lobbied persistently for the removal of fiscal and bureaucratic impediments to the sale of printed matter (see his The Truth about a Publisher: an Autobiographical Record [London: Allen & Unwin, 1960], pp. 294–304).