Item 90 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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ADD.MS.c/99/90

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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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  • [6] Jan 1868 (Creation)

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Announced that he has arrived in Cannes 'after a somewhat trying journey': the worst part being the Dover to Calais crossing which he found so rough that he was afraid to subsequently take the night train to Avignon 'for fear of being regularly knocked up'. Was glad to instead spend a morning in Paris, a town he 'love[s] above all towns', where he suffered the effects of a very cold North Wind. Refers to the tradition of selling étrennes [new year's gifts], which he does not wish to 'transplant' to Britain; it is bad enough having to give presents to friends when they marry. Reports that he spent some hours in the Louvre, and found that his feeling for Greuze had grown.

Travelled on to Avignon that night, where he encountered a snow-storm. Remarks that the Palace of the Popes 'looks much more like a great barrack which it now is than like a palace'. He stayed in Marseilles on Wednesday night, and the next morning saw the Mediterranean for the first time. Complains that it has rained every day since he arrived. Reports that Symonds 'does not look at all well, but says he is better', and has sprained an ankle. Mentions that Montagu Butler is there, and that he intends to see him soon and hopes to hear about Haileybury and A G Butler. Reports that [Roden] Noel 'left a wideawake' with them, and asks her to send it to him in London. Asks her to keep carefully any letters about his room or else [ ] belonging to him that she may find. Reports that he had 'a melancholy business at Hastings dividing the library [of his friend Cowell, who died the previous month]'; he could not take all the books and those he had taken will 'oblige him to line [his] room with bookcases'. Remarks that this 'complete break-up, extinction of a family is very sad.'

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Publication note

Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, pp 175-176.

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