Lettice Ramsey

This should probably be the last of my blogs about the firm of Ramsey & Muspratt, but I have now had a chance to read two books, Karl Sabbagh’s Shooting Star: The Brief and Brilliant Life of Frank Ramsey and Peter Stansky and William Abrahams, Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War, which together help to explain Lettice Ramsey’s life and character and put it into context.

Not long after the episode with Margaret Pyke (unconsummated as Karl Sabbagh has pointed out), Frank Ramsey met Lettice Baker, who was an old Bedalian (this may help to explain her liberal approach to sex).   She had read psychology at Newnham, worked for a period in vocational guidance in London and then returned to Cambridge to work in the Psychology Library.   They met in G.E. Moore’s rooms in Trinity.   Not long afterwards, she describes how she went to dinner at King’s and ‘decided to go to bed that evening.   I saw no particular reason to put it off longer & Frank was very impatient to do so.   He was far too nervous to copulate in King’s so we went round to my rooms in Trinity Street’.

They married, but he was quite quickly unfaithful to her and insisted on telling her the details of his affair, which may have encouraged her to be unfaithful to him, which he bitterly resented.   Their mores are those of Bloomsbury, but neither were initially associated with Bloomsbury and Frank’s relentless truth-telling was presumably much more a result of him being an Apostle.

At the time that she set up Ramsey & Muspratt, Lettice was having affairs with both Julian Bell, then an undergraduate at Kings, and Richard Braithwaite, a Fellow.   So, she was indeed, as she described herself to Helen Muspratt, very well connected.

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