Frank Ramsey

I suppose it was inevitable that, in wanting to find out more about Lettice Ramsey, I should have got interested in Frank Ramsey, her short-lived husband, who translated Wittgenstein’s Tractato Logico-Philosophicus into English, having learned German in nine days, and is now regarded by philosophers as having contributed as much to the subject before he died aged 26 as Wittgenstein himself.   What intrigued me was a passage from his diary which records a holiday with a girl called Margaret Pyke, ‘One afternoon I went out alone with her on Lake Orta and became filled with desire and we came back and lay on two beds side by side she reading, I pretending to, but with an awful conflict in my mind. After about an hour I said (she was wearing her horn spectacles and looking superlatively beautiful in the Burne Jones style) ‘Margaret will you fuck with me?’   Isn’t this a slightly unusual chat-up line for a Wykehamist and brother of a future Archbishop of Canterbury ?

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7 thoughts on “Frank Ramsey

  1. Anne Manson says:

    Not that surprising to me, I believe the said Margaret Pyke was a British family planning activist and pioneer!

  2. Karl Sabbagh says:

    No, it wasn’t effective. She treated him gently but never succumbed. Her husband Geoffrey was an interesting guy. He invented aircraft carriers made of ice, which Mountbatten was very interested in during WW2.

  3. Edward Chaney says:

    Geoffrey was indeed v interesting; he also committed suicide. I knew (slightly) his and Margaret’s medical son, David, Frank’s godson, who was in turn the father of a school friend of mine, Adrian Pyke. David lived in a nice house in Dulwich and was a governor of our Quaker school, Leighton Park, to which the Bell brothers, Julian and Quentin, had also been sent (as were the Foot brothers, Hugh and Michael).

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