Item 58 - Letter from Henry and Nora Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson.

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Letter from Henry and Nora Sidgwick to Mary "Minnie" Benson.


  • 5 Nov 1883 (Creation)

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Thanks her for her enclosures. Asks who Mrs F[ ] was, and whether he knows her personally, as he wishes to write to her 'in a proper tone'. Also thanks her for her and Edward's congratulations, and admits that he is very happy to have a stable position [as Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge], and explains that his work involves a great deal of organisation. Claims to feel that he has got too old for 'the pleasure' of that degree of professional success.

States that he and Nora are very glad that there is no reason to be alarmed about Edward. Regrets that 'he has not been able to sleep as much as Mr Gladstone', who, he heard, used to sleep for nine or ten hours when he was confined to bed as a result of an accident. Asks if she ever heard from Mrs Offley [Carey] about her story, and if not, asks her if she could 'mildly stir her up to write what she promised'.

Nora adds that Henry asked her to explain 'the situation about the "[Birch]" '. States that the Gurneys [Edmund or Frederick and family?] 'have offered themselves for the Friday in that week over the Sunday', and that if Minnie did not think Tuesday would be her [especial] day, Henry would ask Arthur [Benson or Sidgwick?]'s friend for that night, 'leaving Wednesday and Thursday free.' Suggest that if it is only Minnie and Maggie that are coming, there is nothing to prevent them from being there 'with either or both sets of people'. [Incomplete]

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Part transcription in Sidgwick, Arthur, and Sidgwick, E. M, 'Henry Sidgwick'. London: Macmillan, 1906, p 368-369.

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