Item 218 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

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ADD.MS.c/100/218

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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

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  • 10 Oct 1871 (Creation)

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Asks for information concerning Myers' coming to Cambridge, 'The Prospects of Poetry' and 'The Probabilities of Medicine etc etc'. Declares that they have much to discuss, Sidgwick having failed to write due to the unrealised expectation of seeing Myers at Rugby. Reports that he has to teach history that term, 'no successor having turned up to Pearson: and Cambridge breeding no historian'; they are 'thinking of taking some healthy young resident and locking him up with a Hume'; it is 'rather a disgrace to us that we all take so small an interest in the human race'.

Asks if he has seen Noel 'in the Dark Blue [a literary journal]'. Suggests that he may have been ashamed to send it to Myers, as 'some of the polemic is almost personal'. Declares that it is very well written, 'except the polemical part', and states that he writes better prose than verse. Reports that Noel nearly quarrelled with him 'for reluctantly avowing that [he] did not consider him an equal of Swinburne.' States that Noel 'thinks that the Verbal School (S[winburne?] Rossetti, etc - non sine te) have been found out'. Refers to the Edinburgh of July, and the Contemporary [Review] of October as having evidence to support this theory. States that Noel also thinks that 'Buchanan and R.N are going to be chaired instead by a mutable but at length appreciative public.' Refers to 'a certain Mutual Admiration league' between Noel and Symonds. Believes that Symonds's poetry could be successful, 'if he could only impassion himself about a good subject.'

Asks Myers to send his last epic. Tells him to read Noel's article. Sends his regards to Myers' mother. Announces that his second correspondence circular is soon to appear. Reports that Miss Clough is in Cambridge, that the house is 'getting on', and that there will be five [women] there that term.

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Publication note

Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 251-252.

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