Item 99 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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Add. MS c/99/99


Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother


  • [8 Mar] 1869 (Creation)

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Explains the delay in sending a copy of Roden Noel's poems [not included]- to her. Asks if she has seen his review in the Spectator, which, he claims, was written 'with a sincere effort at rigid impartiality', and therefore has not altogether pleased the poet.

Claims that he has not been able to find out anything for the advantage of Mrs Horton, and that he cannot [hear] of the school his mother mentions [see ADD.MS.c/101/181], and asks if it is Clapton. Discusses the boy [Fred Horton]'s educational future, and suggests that if he could not get a scholarship at Rugby, he probably would not be able to obtain an exhibition. Promises to talk about the situation with her when he comes to visit, which he hopes will be 'about Thursday week - if not, the Sunday following.'

Asks her to tell him by return of post what Arthur is going to do at Easter, and whether he may ask Trevelyan to come down for a day while Arthur is there. Claims that he is not over-working. Reports that he suffered from some sleeplessness at the beginning of the term, and that he does very little work in the evenings. The consequences, he claims, are that he neither wants nor can afford a holiday, and wants time to prepare his lectures for the following term. Asks her to send him William's address.

Undertakes to bring 'Lowell's new volume' with him, and remarks that 'the "commemoration ode" is, on the whole, splendid', and judges that it ought to appear in any collection of English Lyrics. With regard to the word 'English', remarks that it must now become designative of race and language, not of polity, and that they must now call themselves 'as opposed to the Americans, Britons.' Remarks that 'Mary [Benson?] has subsided into silence', and does not think she is studying either algebra or political philosophy. Reports that Mrs Kingsley asked after her the other day.

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Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 191-192.

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