Scope and content
Has read seventeen chapters of [Henry Sidgwick's] The Development of European Polity, and is certain that it ought to be published. The idea of the book 'as a sort of comment upon the results of history' strikes him as 'extremely original'; praises the skill with which it is executed. His own series of lectures on the comparative study of constitutions has made him realise the difficulty of the task that Henry had undertaken. Refers to his own effort 'to give some account of the connection between Law and Opinion in England during the Nineteenth Century', and to the difficulties he has met. Declares what an immense impression the book has so far made on him, and predicts that it will add greatly to Henry's reputation. Expresses his surprise that the work was not in a more fragmentary condition that it is.
His wife Elinor is away for the winter and at Tunbridge Wells at the present, and is unlikely to return to Oxford until the end of the season. Expresses the wish that it were now possible 'either to admit women to seats on County Councils or to make it to a certain extent compulsory that there should be women on the Committees for managing schools', but observes that the Opposition 'seem to occupy so much time in attempts to injure the Government, that they make it impossible to consider and debate changes [which] might be real improvements. Adds that he believes that he should be equally unwilling either to assail or defend the Bill. Tells her to let her know if she is ever in Oxford.