Frances Partridge was born on 15 March 1900 in London, the youngest daughter of the architect William Marshall. She had five siblings: Horace, Tom, Judy, Rachel (Ray) and Eleanor. She was educated at Bedales from 1915 and went up to Newnham College, Cambridge in 1918 to read English and Moral Sciences. After leaving Cambridge in 1921, she worked in the bookshop of David ('Bunny') Garnett and Francis Birrell at 30 Gerrard Street, London. This position continued until 1928, when she began work with Ralph Partridge on research for Lytton Strachey's edition of 'The Greville Memoirs: 1814-1860'. Following Strachey's death in 1932, they worked together on the index and the 8 volumes were published by Macmillan and Co. in 1938.
Frances Marshall and Ralph Partridge were married in 1933, and their son (Lytton) Burgo was born in 1935. Burgo married Henrietta Garnett, daughter of David and Angelica Garnett, and they had a daughter, Sophie. Both husband and son died suddenly: Ralph Partridge on 30 Nov. 1960 and Burgo Partridge on 7 Sept. 1963.
Frances Partridge is one of the great diarists in English Literature, and her detailed record of her varied life reveals her friendships with members of the Bloomsbury Group, as well as other family and friends. Her publications include: 'A Pacifist's War' (diaries 1939-45 published 1978); 'Memories' ( covering 1900-1932 published 1981); 'Everything to Lose' (diaries 1945-60 published 1985); 'Hanging On' (diaries 1960-63 published 1990); 'Other People' (diaries 1963-66 published 1993); 'Good Company' (diaries 1967-70 published 1994); 'Life Regained' (diaries 1970-72 published 1998); 'Ups and Downs' (diaries 1972-75 published 2001); 'Julia' (1983); 'Friends in Focus: A Life in Photographs' (1987); and 'The Pasque Flower' (1990). She created the index for volumes of The Hogarth Press first editions of 'Sigmund Freud. Life and Work' (1953-57), translated by James Strachey. In addition, Frances Partridge published many translations from French and Spanish, book reviews, articles and obituaries.
Frances Partridge died on 5 February 2004.
This collection contains typescript and manuscript diaries, lectures, philosophy notes, correspondence, photographs, printed copies of book reviews, articles and obituaries. Many of the diaries exist only in typescript form, but in later years the only copies are in manuscript. Letters to her husband, Ralph Partridge, are included in this collection. In addition to her own photograph albums, there are two albums which belonged to Dora Carrington and two which belonged to Lytton Strachey, inherited by Ralph Partridge and then by Frances Partridge. Posthumous papers have been added to the archive if they contribute to the knowledge of Frances Partridge's life.
Conservation of the papers and the creation of the catalogue were made possible by a generous grant from The Foyle Foundation.
Frances Partridge expressed her wish that these papers should be given to King's College upon her death. Her Literary Executor, Gill Coleridge, arranged their transfer in 2004. Two accessions were made: on 11 May 2004 and 15 June 2004. Letters to Ralph Partridge from various correspondents, two photograph albums owned by Dora Carrington and two photograph albums owned by Lytton Strachey were given at the same time. On 7 Nov. 2006, additional material was given through the generosity of Gill Coleridge, Paul Evans and Sue Fox.