Dorothy Cousens

Dorothy Cousens (née Mackenzie) had been the fiancée of Graeme West, a soldier who had written to BR from the Front about politics. The Diary of a Dead Officer, a collection of his letters and memorabilia edited by Cyril Joad, was published in 1918 by Allen & Unwin. BR got to know Mackenzie after West was killed in action in April 1917 (she, “on the news of his death, became blind for three weeks” [BR’s note, Auto. 2: 71]) and provided some work for her and the man she married, Hilderic Cousens. Decades later she explained to K. Blackwell how she knew BR: “I had a break-down when most of my generation were either killed or in prison and Bertrand Russell was kind and helped me back to sanity” (29 July 1978, BRACERS 121877). She donated Letter 63 and a much later handwritten letter (BRACERS 55813), on the death of Hilderic, to the Russell Archives.