Item 64 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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Add. MS c/99/64


Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother


  • 16 Mar 1866 (Creation)

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Announces his intention of coming down 'about the middle of passion week', from Wellington College, but states that he cannot quite fix his movements, as he wants to be in Cambridge to inaugurate the new master [of Trinity]. Reports that there was relief at the appointment, as there was fear that it would be a non-resident. Declares that Thompson 'will make a very good sort of master, though not perhaps the best' as he is 'a little too lazy or dyspeptic'. Claims that they expect further changes in the College, 'as it is thought Mathison will take a living', but that they won't make Henry tutor.

Informs her that he shall not bring any friend with him as he prefers the domestic circle when at home, and will stay over Easter Sunday if his mother has room for him. Confirms that he is interested in the ' "grammar question" ', and strongly believes that the language should be taught to boys 'without making them learn by heart a syntax in Latin.' Looks forward to seeing his uncle Robert, but does not wish to talk about theological questions [with him]. He is willing to talk about 'any amount' of politics or philosophy, however. States that he has not forgotten about the poems, but cannot find the book. Undertakes to buy another one if he cannot find it, and send it to her. Expresses regret in relation to his mother's health, and hopes to see 'them in a week or so.' Refers to the fact that Edward [Benson] is not well, and that 'he seems a good deal worried about new masters'.

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      Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, pp 144-145.

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