A Talent to Alienate: the 2nd Earl (Frank) Russell (1865-1931)

  • Peter Bartrip University of Oxford


Bertrand’s elder brother, John Francis Stanley (Frank) Russell, who was the second Earl Russell for over 50 years, led a fascinating life as a politician, electrical engineer, author, traveller, businessman, barrister, law reformer, polemicist and pioneer motorist. Notorious in his lifetime for his sensational marital history, his prominence has waned since his death to the extent that he is remembered mainly as "the wicked earl" who was twice divorced and once imprisoned for bigamy. His achievements do not match those of his brother, grandfather, third wife and other relatives, but his life merits examination in its own right as well for its familial links with leading figures in Britain’s political, cultural and intellectual history.