Item 157 - Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother


  • 12 Jan [1872] (Creation)

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Assures her that he has no prejudice against the commemoration of New Year's Day, but owns to be 'not...very susceptible to the influence of conventional divisions of time...' Glad to hear that her stay at Hastings was a success and that she has been better; all his associations with Hastings are connected with the long illness and funeral of a good friend of his [John Jermyn Cowell]. Reports that he had a delightful visit at Clifton, and believes that Symonds was 'better than usual'. Remarks, however, that Mrs Symonds 'does not look very well', but that the children 'were thiving'. Spent three days at Wellington College, and judged Mary to be 'as well as could be expected'. Refers briefly to her baby (Robert Hugh Benson). Reports that two Miss Wordsworths [probably daughters of Christopher Wordsworth, including Elizabeth Wordsworth] were there, whom he thought 'remarkably pleasant and interesting'. Observes that Edward seemed overworked, but in good form. In relation to 'the Rugby news', does not know whether to be sorry or glad, and says that 'Basil Hammond...says "glad".' With regard to Frank Horton, declares that he has fair abilities, and hopes that he will take second class honours. Observes that he is 'very well disposed and industrious', and reports that his tutor 'thinks that he ought to get a first class in the College Examination at the end of the year, which will secure him a sizarship.' Sends his love to his aunt Henrietta, and hopes that his mother enjoys her visit to Brighton.

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Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 257.

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