Item 155 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother


  • [5 Aug 1871] (Creation)

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Remarks that he has not heard from her in a long time, and reports that lately he has been lying on his sofa 'from inflammation of the ancle [sic].' States that it is better now. Reports that he found 'a tolerable suitable house' for his young ladies [a hostel for female students]. States that he then went to stay with the [Thomas Fowell?] Buxtons on the borders of Epping Forest, and then to London, where he found 'portentous heat and equally portentous hayfever.' Claims to hate London in heat. Reports that he was introduced to Miss Octavia Hill, whom he has long wanted to meet, ever since he read an article of hers in Macmillan's on her work among the poor in the East of London. Calls her 'a very interesting woman', and vows that if he ever takes 'a vow of asceticism' and gives away all his goods 'to feed the poor', he will give them to her, 'as the person who is likely to make them do - the least harm'. He then went to see Mrs Clough, and made his final arrangements with Miss Clough for their proceedings the following term. Spent 'the suspensive day between the rejection of the Army Bill by the Lords and Gladstone's "coup d'état" [the Royal Warrant on Purchase] ' with Trevelyan. The latter 'had had notice given him privately of what the Ministry was going to do and was in proportionately good spirits.' Reports that he saw his friend Patterson, 'who was also cheerful as a translation of a Hungarian story by him is to appear in the Cornhill.' Since London he has been in Cambridge, 'trying to get a little reading done', but complains that he cannot shake off his laziness. Informs her that [his cousin] Annie 'is passed in P.E' [political economy]. Asks for her news, and whether she will be staying by herself at Rugby during any part of the vacation, as he may come down there.

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