Item 42 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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Add. MS c/99/42


Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother


  • [1] Feb 1865 (Creation)

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They are beginning to work again, and are preparing for a very long term; wishes that 'Convocation, instead of persecuting some miserable heretic, would fix Easter to the same day of the month every year'. Remarks that he should have written all his letters on his visits instead of having them all to write now when he ought to be reading Euripides. Enjoyed all his visits very much: found [Oscar] Browning just returned from Paris where he had been inspecting French schools. Refers to a letter of Brownings in Tuesday's Times, signed O.B. Remarks on the lack of freedom in French schools, and a Frenchman's views that English boys were 'beaucoup plus sages: mais... beaucoup moins intelligents' [much better behaved, but much less intelligent].

Reports that he was in Wellington College, but states that he 'could have dispensed with the [Isackes], who he found became a bore. Observes that Martin 'is growing interesting',and remarks what a thorough Sidgwick he is. Predicts that 'the other boy [Arthur] will be much finer-looking', and asserts that the baby [Nelly] looks like Minnie. Asks his mother when she expects Arthur [home], and reports that he has heard of him from Cobb, who has been in Dresden. Mentions that his friend Payne is gone as a master to Wellington College, and asks her to tell this to Arthur. Hopes that she enjoyed her visit to Oxford. Asks her to send two books that he left: The Statesman's Yearbook and 'Colonel Browne's Persian MS'. Reports that he read 'a delicious story in the Cornhill of Feb. called "Tid's old Red rag of a shawl".' Would like to know by whom it was written, as it is 'by no hand familiar' to Sidgwick, and 'wonderfully fresh, animated, and original' [the author was Henrietta Keddie].

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Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 126.

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