Item 26 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

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Add. MS c/100/26

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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson

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  • 13 Nov [1867] (Creation)

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Offers to send her a book called A Lost Love by Ashford Owen [Anne Charlotte Ogle], which reminds him of 'Romance of a Dull Life etc [by Anne Judith Penny], only it is written with less intellect and perhaps more passionateness'.

Reports that he hears excellent accounts of her, and hopes that they are all true. Assumes that she is still at Hastings, Mentions that she may possibly be seeing William in a few days. Reports that he saw the latter at Oxford, and that he has given up his work for the term, and is going away, probably to Rugby first 'and then perhaps to Hastings.' Asks her how she finds Hastings. Declares that he knows it well, and looks forward to seeing much more of it in years to come, if his ' poor friend Cowell's life is preserved'; does not expect that Cowell will leave Hastings again now.

Hopes that she is not experiencing any fogs. Declares that they have been having a splendid autumn [in Cambridge]. Reports that he is involved in a project for improving female education, by providing examination for governesses. States that there is an attempt being made to form a joint board, consisting of members of the two universities, for the purpose. Mentions that there are also other projects. Remarks that it appears that there is particular activity in the North of England, where schoolmistresses 'and other enlightened people have associated themselves in several great towns, and out of these associations a general council has been formed with lofty aspirations'.

Refers to Matthew Arnold, whose 'unfortunate lecture on culture has been attacked again in the Fortnightly Review by Frederic Harrison'. Advises her that 'the Guardian Angel by O.W. Holmes is worth reading, though he thinks 'not good as a novel'.

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Publication note

Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 173-174.

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