Item 3 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

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Add. MS c/100/3


Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson


  • [1860s?] (Creation)

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1 doc

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Asks her to inform Edward that he will begin to make enquiries 'as soon as the men come up', and states that '[i]t is probably that [Henry Weston?] Eve will come if Fisher [Frederic or Edmund?] won't.' Claims to be 'in very low spirits', and puts into words some pessimistic thoughts. Refers to the following terms, which he claims to look forward to 'with some dread.' Reports that Arthur is with [Henry?] Lee Warner, and that 'Mamma is solitary'. States that he went with her on Monday as far as Ely, and that he left '[ ] The H[ ] and Shirley [by Charlotte Bronte] to console her.'

Suggests that she [his sister] would like some poetry, and tells her that the translations he read to her can be obtained from her friend Miss Hedley. States that the latter stayed with them a week after she [Minnie] 'had gone off in that most unsisterly way on the 23rd June /59 [to be married]', and that he 'being then German-mad used occasionally to plague her with raptures etc', so she wrote her out 'two or three translations as a reward...' Reports that 'old Mr [Francis?] Martin' called on them at Rugby and narrated how she [Minnie] and he met Miss Hedley 'with one of the bald-headed uncles, and mistook him for the other bald-headed uncle. Asks her if she remembers how the 'b.h.d used to come to Redland, and how well they used to fold up their nightgowns when they were little boys...' Relates that Elizabeth [Cooper?] says 'that William Jackson [warned] take care of her boys' hair and make them get it cut [or else they would have no grey hairs to be brought down in sorrow to the grave...'

Reminds her that Miss Harriet Atty was about to be led to the Hatter when she [Minnie] left Rugby, and informs her that on the day before her wedding Atty was presented with a diamond necklace by an old gentleman that she had met on the seaside some time before, and that the result was that 'it was noised abroad that the older Miss A. w[ould] presently become Mrs Old-Gentleman...' Sends his love to Edward, and asks her to tell him how many boys they have got.

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      Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 42-43.

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