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Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher
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Letters from Nora and Henry Sidgwick to Mary Sidgwick

Nora remarks on how sad it is that her and Henry's quiet time [in Paris on their honeymoon] is coming to an end, and how quickly the time has passed, but how long it seems since their wedding day. They go to Rouen the following day and then by Amiens to Calais, from where they will cross the channel back to England. They must be at Carlton Gardens the following Tuesday as Henry must look over some examination papers. They go to Cambridge on the following Friday for one day and return to London until the Monday following when they settle at Cambridge.

If the following day is as delightful as that day they may stay on in Paris 'till the last minute', because it 'does look lovely in the sun, with the fresh green trees, and the chestnuts just coming into flower'. They have been two or three times 'to the play, and enjoyed the excellent acting very much': last night they heard Racine's Athalie, and found it dull, but there were 'two very good little comedies afterwards'.

Henry writes that he is sorry to hear that William has been so depressed; hopes that the change will do him good, and that he will come over to Cambridge as soon as possible. Undertakes to write to him in the next couple of days. In relation to his mother's 'Munificent offer', states that Nora says that they have no breakfast service, dinner service, glass or cruet stand; they would be very grateful if she were to give them any of these. They have looked at the china shops in Paris, but prefer London pottery. Is sure that the crest sent to Arthur Balfour [see 105/9] was satisfactory. Notes on Saturday, 22 April that the morning is 'perfectly Lovely, and it is Madness to leave Paris, but Nora has an extravagant passion for church architecture, and is carrying [him] off to Rouen.' They will cross the channel on the following Monday or Tuesday, and have arranged to be at 4 Carlton Gardens on Tuesday; will write again from there.

Sidgwick, Eleanor Mildred (1845-1936) Principal of Newnham College Cambridge

Henry Sidgwick: letters to Nora Sidgwick about Sidgwick's illness and death; letters to Sidgwick from his mother Mary; other letters and printed material

1-93: letters to Nora Sidgwick about Henry Sidgwick's illness and death
94-133: miscellaneous correspondence and printed papers of Henry Sidgwick, many relating to the debate about compulsory Greek at Cambridge.
134-190: letters to Henry Sidgwick from his mother Mary
191-194: letters from Henry Sidgwick to Spencer Baynes regarding his article on ethics for the Encyclopædia Britannica

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Henry Sidgwick: Reviews of Henry Sidgwick: a memoir

Mostly reviews of Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir, with some letters to Nora Sidgwick regarding the publication, or sending on reviews. One review (106/77) of Henry Sidgwick's The Philosophy of Kant and Other Lectures, from the Academy.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Draft or copy letter from Henry Sidgwick to Sir Louis Mallet.

Thanks Mallet for his long letter [94/111]. Contends that the latter exaggerates the extent of their disagreement in relation to various aspects of political and economic theory, with regard to, e.g., dispensing distributive justice, private capital employed in production. Refers also to what he [Sidgwick] says in chapter seven [of his book] on 'the "increasing inequalities" ', and acknowledges that the statement should be further explained, as Mallet 'understood it to contradict the conclusions of Giffen.' Claims that there is 'no such contradiction', and outlines what he believes Giffen attempted to prove in relation to the income of manual labourers, referring to the increasing difference between the highest and the lowest class of that group. Denies that he 'has "ignored the international point of view" in what [he says] of the nationalisation of the land.' Claims that '[t]he claim of the rest of the human race on the land now held by Englishmen is not in any way implicitly denied by the agreement of Englishmen to hold their land in common', and that it would only be affected by the prevention of immigration into England. Refers to his own paper read at the Political Economy Club. [Incomplete].

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Messrs. A. and C. Black

Writes to ask permission to republish an article on Ethics [The History of Ethics], which he wrote for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Refers to their having previously suggested its republication. Explains that other engagements have prevented him from rewriting it in an enlarged form, but now believes that 'it is desirable that it should be reprinted without much order that it may be accessible to students in a cheap form.' Expresses the desire that it be republished 'through the agency of Macmillan and Co.'

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Baron Friedrich von Hügel

Thanks him for his 'kind and interesting letter.' Refers to his incurable disease and the effect that it would have on his quality of life and ability to carry out his work. States that it has caused him to value all the more the kindness of his friends. Feels that he is unworthy of von Hügel's praise, but appreciates the recognition of his friends of the work, which he looks on as incomplete and imperfect. Does not know what the future holds, and states that as soon as he is physically strong enough he will 'endeavour to endure [the] habits of daily work', but that he has been 'warned against anything like fatigue.' Claims that he shall be very sorry if he is not able to write something more on the subjects on which they have exchanged ideas at the Synthetic Society. Expresses his sympathy with Von Hügel in his anxiety about his sister's health.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Copy letter from Henry Sidgwick to Baron Friedrich von Hügel.

Refers to a letter from von Hügel some months previously on the subject of Sidgwick's' 'little book on the History of Ethics'. Explains that he did not reply because he miscalculated the time it would take him to finish his book on politics on which he was at that time working, and reports that he has only just sent it to the publisher. Explains that he is about to leave for a holiday in Switzerland, and assures von Hügel that his letter has not been discarded. States that the two points which von Hügel chiefly criticised in the book 'were both of much interest'; one of them being the contrast Sidgwick drew 'between Christian and pre-Christian civilisation in respect of religious persecution.' Assures him that he had no intention of making any charge against Christianity, and refers to Plato's advocacy of such persecution, as well as to the persecutions of the Roman Empire, and to Tacitus' thoughts on the subject. The other point to which von Hügel had referred was in relation to 'the vagaries of Luther and Calvin in sexual matters'. Admits that he ought to have said something about this, and explains that he did not mention it because he felt that he should 'maintain a severe reserve [on] the whole subject of sexual morality.' Claims that the relation of Christianity to this area of human life is a matter of extreme interest to him, and intends to add 'at least a few sentences' on the matter whenever another edition of his book is called for. Refers to another minor criticism, which von Hügel made in relation to the content of the book

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to J. Peile

Sends to a draft of his reply, Compulsory Classics to the statement 'on the other side' [on the issue of allowing of alternatives for one of the classical languages in the Previous Examination; included]. Claims that it will require 'some little enlargement', but that they have agreed that 'it is best to get several people to write', and states that he is trying to get [H. M.?] Butler to do so. Adds that it was agreed that the statement should appear as [by] Henry Sidgwick', and states that he is waiting until the statement from the opposition is published.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Spencer Baynes

Announces that he would like to undertake 'the article on Ethics' [for the Encyclopaedia Britannica], as Baynes suggests, but before deciding wishes to see the article on Aesthetics, and also to know how much space would be allowed to his article. Adds that he does not know how the question of copyright would stand with regard to such an article. Explains that he is anxious to write over the next year or two 'an outline history of ethics', and would not like to impair his freedom to do this.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Spencer Baynes

States that he will be very glad to undertake the article on ethics [for the Encyclopædia Britannica] 'on a plan very similar to that of Mr S[ully]'s "Aesthetics".' Refers to its possible length and states that he believes that it will be ready by September. Asks to have about one hundred copies of it for private use with his class at Cambridge.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to [Spencer Baynes]

Is much gratified by what Baynes says about his article on ethics [for the Encyclopædia Britannica]. Explains that there may be some small mistakes in it, due to pressures of work. Mentions his wish to publish the article in an enlarged form. States that he would not like to undertake any more work immediately, but will be very willing to do so 'in some later number of the Encyclopædia', and suggests politics, utilitarianism or Socrates as possible topics.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Arthur Sidgwick

Refers to a conversation they had about Arthur having been offered a teaching post in Glasgow, and whether he should take it or not. Were he in Arthur's position he would not go, but is inclined to think that Arthur should: his experience of teaching would make him 'peculiarly fitted for the work', and the 'long summer leisure' would give him more time to write than he would have if he stays in Oxford. Jebb's assumes that the annual salary for the position is £1,200, and [G. G.?] Ramsay shares that view of its value. They possible somewhat underrate the effect of the movement in education against compulsory Greek, but supposes that candidates for the Ministry 'must always supply a solid nucleus of Hellenists.'

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to Mrs [Alice] Roden Noel

Copy of letter. Writes to express his sympathy to her on the death of her husband. Claims that he has been thinking of the latter and of the early years of their friendship, when they 'talked and wrote to each other, in the eagerness of youth, on all things in Heaven and Earth.' States that he believes that although Noel 'was keenly disappointed by the world's inadequae recognition of his genius he did his work in life none the less resolutely, and brought out his great gifts, and remained nobly true to his ideal.' Regrets that in later years he [HS] 'often vexed him somewhat by unsympathetic criticism of his [Behe] work', but states that he is glad to think that this never made any division between them. Adds how much he admired Noel as a poet, and hopes that she will always rely on him if the occasion should arise on which he could be of any service to her or to her children.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to A. J. Patterson, with letter from James Bryce to Sidgwick

Letter from Sidgwick to Patterson, referring to an enclosed letter [from James Bryce, see below], which will show Patterson that 'the article on Civil Marriage on Hungary is launched on its course'. Reports that he tried to have it published in the Pall Mall Gazette, but the sub-editor wrote to him 'that it was too "ancient history" for a daily newspaper.' States that on closer inspection Sidgwick perceived that 'it proclaimed a triumph of the "Liberal Party" in Hungary', from which he inferred that it was 'not really suited to a Conservative organ, and so handed it on to Bryce'. Perceives that 'a division of labour is desirable in placing [Patterson's] article before an English public', States that 'those that relate to the claims of nationalities are likely to suit a Conservative taste, but those that relate to the claims of religious denominations must be allotted to Liberal editors.' Hopes that Patterson is in better health.

Letter from Bryce to Sidgwick, stating that the Speaker will insert Patterson's article next week. Hopes that the latter's health is, 'if no better, at any rate no worse'.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Copy of part of letter from Henry Sidgwick to Roche Dakyns

MS copy of 'part of letter' in Nora Sidgwick's hand. States that he wishes he could see the election contest well that year. Declares that it is 'in every way the most interesting crisis there has been for some time'. Believes that if the Liberals come in the following year 'they will not only settle the Irish Church but dispose of education without particular regard for the ecclesiastical obstacles that are generally in the way.' In relation to the English Church establishment is that 'it is only a question of time'. Believes that if the Liberals win the election it will be the I[rish] C[hurch] which will go first, 'then the Scotch, then, in a few years the English.' Declares that if the Conservatives win 'the United Church of Great Britain at [ ] will go at the [ ] reaction.' With regard to the somewhat melancholy way' in which Dakyns speaks of his [places], refers to the relative unimportance of each individual in the scheme of the universe, and declares that 'the only thing to do is to f[ ] some p[lace] in the interest of the human race, calculated on the ordinary chances of human life, and carry it not for one's own good and comfort....'

Sidgwick, Eleanor Mildred (1845-1936) Principal of Newnham College Cambridge

Copy of part of letter from Henry Sidgwick to Rev. James Robertson

Writes on the occasion of Robertson's marriage, referring to the 'two wonders' produced by getting married in one's middle age: the question of how one existed so long unmarried, 'and 'how this strange mingling of lives ever came about.' MS copy of 'part of a letter' in Nora Sidgwick's hand, with note that Mrs James Robertson showed her the letter on 11 October 1908, when she brought her youngest son [Dennis Holme Robertson] to make her acquaintance on his entering Trinity College.

Sidgwick, Eleanor Mildred (1845-1936) Principal of Newnham College Cambridge

MS notes dictated by Henry Sidgwick with regard to his work and what is to be done with it

In Nora Sidgwick's hand. Refers to his lectures on philosophical subjects, some of which he believes should be published. Suggests that a young man might be employed to work on some of them and that [James] Ward might read the proofs through 'and give advice on any point of difficulty.' Refers also to a number of lectures that he had intended to make into a book on Kant and Kantism in England, and also to works on [T. H. ] Green, agnosticism and relativism and two lectures on [Herbert] Spencer. Does not believe that the lectures on Epistemology 'in connection with [Christoph von] Sigwart' are worth publishing as a continuous whole, but thinks certain parts of them might be published as fragments. Suggests Ward's involvement, so long as he would not undertake too much work.

Refers also to his articles on ethics, printed and unprinted. Expresses his wish that the question of 'the usefulness to mankind' be the '[ ] principle for deciding on publication', and that the volume of the labour required should be taken into account also. Would like lectures that are not published to be handed over to anyone who may be lecturing on that particular subject, and mentions in particular some fragmentary lectures on his book on The Elements of Politics, which he would like to be offered to Th[ ] or Dickinson or divided between them.

Has done a good deal of reading for a book, The Development of European Polity, for which the plan is sketched 'in the first lecture of a pamphlet containing 3 printed lectures.' Has been his view 'more and more of late years that a three fold treatment of Political Science is desirable for [ ]', and lays out his theory. Would like the teachers of Political Science to be consulted on the possibility of working out his plans with the aid of his material. Again suggests that a young man might be paid to work on this matter. Expresses concern over expense, and states that he believes his work to be 'too sketchy and amateurish for it to be desirable to use it otherwise than as material.' Was comtemplating giving up the idea of publication so long as he held his chair 'feeling that the time and labour required to make it an adequately scholarly work would not be given [ ]' with his duty as a Professor of Moral Philosophy.'

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

MS notes dictated by Henry Sidgwick: 'Autobiographical Fragment'

In Nora Sidgwick's hand. Declares his aim: to give an account of his life - mainly his inner intellectual life - 'as shall render the central and fundamental aims that partially at least determined its course when apparently most fitful and erratic, as clear and intelligible as [he] can.' Refers to biographical information in 'the Life of Edward Benson' [by A. C. Benson], in which he noted 'the great change that took place about the middle of [his] undergraduate time', which was triggered by his becoming a member of the discussion society known as the Apostles. Refers to a description of the latter in the late Dean Merivale's autobiography. Describes the spirit of the society as that of 'the pursuit of truth with absolute devotion and unreserved by a group of intimate friends, who were perfectly frank with each other and indulgent in any amount of humourous [sic] sarcasm and playful banter....' Emphasises the importance of sincerity, but not necessarily of gravity in its discussions. Had at first been reluctant to join the society, as he believed that it would interfere with his work for his two triposes, but came to feel that no part of his life at Cambridge was so real to him as the Saturday evenings he spent at the meetings at which Apostolic debates were held.

It was many years before he was to embrace the study of philosophy as his life's work: the reasons for this were partly financial. He had to accept the Classical lectureship that was offered to him on October 1859, and therefore had to devote a considerable amount of time to classical study. He also allowed himself 'to be seduced into private tuition as a means of increasing [his] income.' Adds that Cambridge vacations being long, he had a good deal of spare time, and he began a systematic study of philosophy, reading J.S. Mill's works. Discusses the influence that the latter had on him, but adds that he was 'by no means [then] disposed to acquiesce in negative or agnostic answers', and hat he had not in any way broken with the orthodox Christianity in which he had been brought up, though he had been sceptical of it.

Refers also to his study of theology and political economy. In 1862 he was very impressed by Renan's Essai [Études] d'histoire religieuse, and derived from that work that it was 'impossible really to understand at first hand Christianity as a historical religion without penetrating more deeply the mind of the Hebrews and of the Semitic stock from which they sprang.' This led him to devote much time to studying Arabic and Hebrew. Refers to an article he wrote on [J. R. Seeley's] Ecce Homo in the Westminster Review of July 1863, in which he reveals the provisional conclusions that he had formed with regard to Christianity. Says he found some relief from the great internal debate on the subjects of Christianity, Scepticism and Agnosticism in the renewal of his linguistic studies. His study of Arabic and Hebrew literature and history led him to think that he might secure one of the two professorships in Arabic at Cambridge. Believed that the inclusion of theology in the remit of the single chair of Moral Philosophy made it unlikely that he would attain this, since he was neither a clergyman nor orthodox.

Began to realise that the study of Arabic and Hebrew were drawing him away from 'the central problems which constituted [his] deepest interest', and the study of philosophy and theology began again to occupy more of his time. He accepted the examinership in the Moral Sciences Tripos, and was later offered a lectureship in Moral Science in exchange for his classical lectureship, and accepted. Determined to throw himself into the work of making a philosophical school in Cambridge. Had meanwhile been led back to the study of philosophy 'by a quite different line [of thought]', which led him to question whether he should keep his fellowship or not. Refers to his work The Methods of Ethics, and thoughts systematised therein. Note here by Nora Sidgwick refers to remarks made by Henry in relation to the 'miraculous birth' [of Jesus], the Resurrection and Ascension.

Also refers to psychical research, and his desire to attain direct proof of continual individual existence, 'which he regarded as necessary from an ethical point of view.' In relation to the education of women, states that he took up this cause 'as a piece of practically useful work for mankind', and that he turned his thoughts towards it after he had given up his fellowship.

Nora adds that the above information was written down from recollection 'not immediately after he said it.' Envelope accompanies 105/46-50. Addressed to Nora Sidgwick at Newnham College. Label "some MS notes, including 'Autobiographical Fragment', and 'Henry's instructions about his unfinished work etc.'"

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

MS notes in Nora Sidgwick's hand

Includes the words that Henry would like to have said over his grave 'if it is decided not to have the Church of England service': 'Let us commend to the love of God with silent prayer the soul of a sinful man who partly tried to do his duty. It is by his wish that I say over his grave these words and no more'. Note that this was 'written down May 17 1900'.

Verses 'adopted by Henry Sidgwick. from Tennyson's Palace of Art when he left the Church of England in 1869', beginning with the lines: 'Yet pull not down my minster towers that were/So gravely gloriously wrought'. Page headed 'Henry's Texts', including [biblical] quotations.

Page headed 'Re new edition of Ethics'. Henry's desire is that, if he is not able to finish the revision, The Methods of Ethics 'be put through the press by Miss [E..E. C.] Jones without excerpts [he has] clearly indicated in the book itself or [his] MS notes of lectures that an alteration is required'. Suggests also the addition of a brief explanatory preface.

Additional notes relate to his works and the possibility of their publication. Believes that some of his philosophical works in which he attempts to define the scope of philosophy and its relation to, for example, psychology, logic, history and sociology, are most suitable for publication and study. Refers to a course of lectures on Kant, Green and Spencer 'which will be [more] easily brought out'. Refers also to a course of lectures on epistemology, which was delivered with Sigwart's Logic as a text book, and believes that part of it might be worth publishing. Suggests that [James] Ward might recommend someone who would read these works in order to select the portions he thought worth publishing. Insists, however, that Ward should not spend time on the matter that could be more profitably devoted to his own work. Discusses the difficulties that might be encountered in the publishing of his philosophical lectures, and refers to the part concerned with the relation of metaphysics and epistemology. Refers also to 'a discussion of Külpe's use of the terms and another discussion on idealism and realism, 'which will be found in the bundle relating to Külpe. List of some of Henry's works.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

MS notes in Henry Sidgwick's hand

Miscellaneous quotations and epigrams from various sources, including Alexander von Humboldt and Lord Rayleigh.

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

Henry Sidgwick: certificates of fellowships and honorary doctorates

Certificate, 9 February 1884, awarding Sidgwick an honorary doctorate of the University of St Andrews [item 2]. Certificate, 29 April 1897, commemorating the election of Sidgwick as a fellow of the Royal Society of Sciences, Copenhagen, on 9 April [item 1].

Certificate, 14 December 1898, recording the nomination of Sidgwick as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Naples, Academy of Moral and Political Sciences [Item 3]. Notice from the Italian Ministry of Public Education, 23 January 1899, approving Sidgwick's election, according to a royal decree of 18 December 1898 [item 4]. Letter dated 29 January 1899 from the Secretary of the Academy, Luigi Nizaghia [?], informing Sidgwick of his election to a fellowship [item 5].

Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900), philosopher

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