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Cross, Marian (1819-1880) née Evans, author, pseudonym George Eliot
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Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Gratefully acknowledges receipt of her long letter [101/157]. Regrets to hear that his uncle Christopher [Sidgwick?] is going to law. In relation to ' "Colenso" ', does not expect his uncle 'to be converted to more liberal views at his time of life.' Believes that a crisis is coming on again in the Church of England, 'much like that of the Tractarians.' Discusses Colenso's book [The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua Critically Examined] in relation to the impending crisis. Regrets that no one has reviewed Miss [Anne] Brown's book. Wishes to cut his connection with the press, as it interferes with his study and does not improve his style. Declares that 'the Problems [in Human Nature' is not the kind of book he would like to write about. Undertakes to send Miss Brown 'Coventry [Patmore]'.

Confirms that he has read the Chronicles of Carlingford by Margaret Oliphant, part of which he compares with George Eliot, 'and one cannot give it higher praise, but the melodramatic element a little spoils it'. Wishes to hear his mother's views 'about Hymen [god of marriage] and the facilities for serving them', and asks if she thinks women are annoyed by the social restraints as much as men, since 'it does not appear in their books.' Says that he would like the American freedom, but doesn't suppose that she would. Discusses relations between men and women in America, compared to those in England. Declares that he is much obliged for Miss Brown's 'good opinion of [his] humble efforts'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

Explains his failure to write to Myers lately; he has been involved in 'memorializing Gladstone: entreating him to investigate and reform [Cambridge University] without unnecessary preludes and prefaces.' Reports that they collected one hundred and ten signatures, but that it fell to him, who has come to be regarded as 'Perpetual chief clerk and servant of all work' of the Liberal Party in Cambridge, to collect them. Declares that he thought Myers' circular 'excellent'. [Note in Myers' hand explains that the circular is of the Corresponding Society; 'Cambridge men teach young women [by] correspondence. Each sent out a circular to his pupils.'] Tells Myers to estimate his expenditure of time and trouble on the project.

Thanks him for [James] Saumarez' letter, which disposes him to accept Jebb's insight that Saumarez' nature resembles Myers'. [Notes in Myers' hand: 'I hope there is some truth in this', and 'letter later forthcoming - consisted principally of good advice....'] Announces that Arthur is to come [to Oxford] the following day. States that now that [Arthur and others] 'have got their Board ['the "promising Body" ', according to Myers], the puzzle is how to fashion it into an offensive [a reference to Arthur Sidgwick and other masters at Rugby's struggle against the head of the school, Henry Hayman].'

In relation to the women installed in Cambridge under his scheme for female education, whom he refers to as his 'Garden of Flowers' [referred to by Myers as Sidgwick's 'harem or collection of girls reading at Cambridge'], reports that 'Miss Kennedy yearns to attend Wards (Clough) Catholic ritual by herself on Sunday night, and [Sidgwick and others] refuse...' Predicts that 'Restraint of Liberty' for the women will be a problem in the future. Refers also to 'Emily Davies and the inevitable complication of educational machinery'. Announces that he intends to go to J.A. Symonds 'on the 26th', and is glad that he will also see Myers.

In relation to Middlemarch, claims that he feels he could have planned the story much better: does not think that the 'Dryasdust hero [Casaubon] need have been more than, say, thirty-five, and he might have had an illusory halo of vague spiritual aspirations; the ending could have been made just as tragic'. Says 'the style is the finest intellectual cookery'.

Praise Myers' 'French verses', and asks how he does them; he himself could not, despite having had 'the finest classical education'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

States that the 'Shakespeare of [their] age' [Mrs Lewes/George Eliot] has sent the 'enclosed' [not included], and asks Myers to return it. Looks forward to seeing Myers 'on Saturday.' Regrets that Browning 'does not give satisfaction', and confesses to being partly responsible, as he 'approved in a general way Browning's plea'. Claims to be 'rather vague as to [his] notions of teaching history by letter.' Declares Myers' pupils' letter to be 'very interesting, but states that it would 'somewhat perplex' him to answer it straightforwardly. Remarks that Taine 'certainly does overdo his philopaganism', and that he [Sidgwick] 'should administer Renan (suppressing his name)'. With regard to Lady Amberley states that he once saw her and thought she showed off and expected him to do the same too much. Claims that he has to be 'in unusually high spirits to feel pleasantly stirred by this variety of the neo-feminine type.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

Admits that he should have suggested precisely what Myers proposes when he [HS] wrote last, 'only [he] thought there might be a party at 23 [H] Sq.' Declares that '[Leweses] in same week with Ghosts...would be an outrage.' Reports that Gurney is getting 'all right', and has played tennis. Announces that he dined in hall.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his sister Mary "Minnie" Benson

Supposes that she has returned [to Wellington College], and hopes that she is much the better for her 'compulsory immorality.' Admits that he should have written before, but explains that he has been hoping to receive the information about Arthur's paper, and that he had not got [Edward Benson's sister?] Eleanor's address. Reports that he is getting on very slowly with his work and is feeling very lazy, so 'is not in a position to give advice on doing your duty when you do not feel inclined to do it'; however, makes a few suggestions on the matter.

Reports that at Eton he was introduced to Mrs Oliphant, who was very unlike what he expected, with a Scottish accent, quiet in manner, and 'rather caustic'. Of George Eliot, states that her conversation 'is full of eager sympathy, but there is comparatively little humour in it.' Regrets that their tour could not take place.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his sister Mary "Minnie" Benson

Explains that he would have answered her letter before, but that he has been very busy. Claims that he finds it difficult to realise how long she has been at Wiesbaden. States that he remembers the place distinctly, 'especially the Russian Church'. Wishes that she could give a better account of herself. States that he once thought of writing ' "Advice to Invalids" ', drawn from his own experience, but was prevented mainly by the consideration that 'there are so many varieties of invalids', and that his advice would be useless to all except a very few. Discusses his selfishness, and his efforts to combat it, which included reading the Times. Came to the conclusion that the best method was to attempt to try and think how others were feeling, 'and sometimes to prophesy what they would say'; thinks 'most of [his] little knowledge of [his] fellow-creatures' comes from that period.§

States that 'Female Education is in a state of movement' at present, as is all other education. Announces that he is considering a scheme for educating the whole country [the beginning of what became the University Extension Lectures]. Claims that he does not go in for modern literature at present, and when he has any spare time he reads Middlemarch over again. Observes that 'things seem to be moving towards Biography now', and states that his own taste is changing in the same direction. Claims that novels weary him 'because they are not true' to human nature. Complains that while biographies are true, 'they are stuffed with facts that one wants to forget.' Remarks that he hears 'the [Augustus] Hare book (Memorials of a Quiet Life) is very good, and refers also to the second volume of John Forster's Life of Charles Dickens*. Sends his love to all.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Declares that he was very glad to get news of Mary [Minnie], as the latter does not write to him. States that he has not heard from William either. Claims to be very busy with correspondence. Refers to developments at Rugby, and remarks that 'things keep dragging on'. Reports that he has asked about the governess, but without success. Asks his mother if she has applied to Mrs [Frances?] Kitchener, who has 'a sort of calendar of the women who pass and take honours in the July examination: in case they want any post of an educational kind. Reports that his old friend Tawney is in England, but that he has not seen him yet because of his [Tawney's] wife's illness. The latter 'was a Miss Fox daughter of the Dr. at Clifton'. Refers to the 'matter of young Meyer', which he declares to be 'a horrible puzzle'. Presumes that his mother hears enough from Rugby to know that 'the crisis seems to have come.' Speculates on the likely outcome.

States that he has read very little in the recent past, 'except Plato and Greek History', and reports that he has been writing 'an erudite paper on the Sophists for [their] Philological Journal.' Reports that he has 'only managed to read Macmillan and Miss Thackeray's story in Cornhill and Middlemarch: and O. W. Holmes's new book [Poet at the Breakfast Table]' which he thinks is 'a falling off but still enjoyable'. Has heard that the new Darwin [Expression of the Emotions] 'is very entertaining'. Sends his love to all, and adds that '[Strange] Adventures of a Phaeton in Macmillan [by William Black] seems to [him] excellent'.

Letter from G. H. Lewes to Edmund Gurney

Explains that Gurney's 'seductive invitation' has arrived just as he is recovering from an attack of gout, and adds that his wife [Marian: George Eliot] is still ill. States that he would be delighted to [ ] his Cambridge experiences at the end of May, suggesting the 30th of that month. Hopes to see Gurney many times before that. Reports that the previous day he was at the rehearsal of the 'Brahms and Joachim pieces', which, he laments he cannot [leave/have] at Cambridge.

Lewes, George Henry (1817-1878) writer

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

Thanks Myers for his verses, which impressed him very much, apart from the third one, from which, he claims, he does not seem to derive any idea 'except of the girl's complexion'. Longs to see Myers. Reports that he has 'simply vegetated brooded and written a page a day of a stupid book [The Methods of Ethics]', which will appear the following year.

Announces Arthur's intended marriage to James Wilson of Rugby's sister [Charlotte], who is described by their mother as 'simpleminded and intelligent'; is curious to see her. Sidney Colvin told him that the Lewes' 'were not [to be] in the Chiselhurst house till October', and so Sidgwick has decided to defer his visit; mentions 28 September as a possible date. Is going to Rugby from 22 to 27 September inclusive; asks Myers to send him a line as to his movements as soon as he arrives. Will stay [in Cambridge] until Monday 22 September, and asks Myers if he will go there, and/or meet him in London on 28 September. Encloses 'AS's Communication' [announcing Arthur's impending marriage; not included], and states that he will never forgive him for not putting it on a postcard.

Postcard from Henry Sidgwick to F.W.H. Myers

Quotes an extract from a missive to him [from George Eliot], including an invitation to Sidgwick and Myers to lunch in Blackbrook, Southborough on 'Saturday the 4th', and gives directions as to arrive at Chislehurst by train. Sidgwick states that he shall very likely join the train at London Bridge, coming from Cambridge.

Letter from W. K. Clifford to [Lucy Clifford]

Combe Bank, Sevenoaks.—Gives an account of visits to the Darwins and Lady Lubbock. Will be able to return home with the Moultons, who arrive today. Looks forward to seeing her and the ‘dear little kid’. Contrasts Daniel Deronda with and the writing of Mallock.

(Dated Wednesday.)

Letter from Nora Sidgwick to Mary Sidgwick

Incomplete. They have got summer at last 'and are even inclined to think it too hot' that day; hopes that Mary has nice weather also. Is particularly glad they have got a fine day since 'the Lewes'' [George Eliot and G. H. Lewes] have been with them since Thursday, as the guests of both Gurney and the Sidgwicks. Remarks on the difference the sun makes to Cambridge, and describes the effect of a summer sunset.

Was rather alarmed at the prospect of having Eliot there: '[o]ne feels beforehand as if she had such a terrible power of analysing ones character - that all ones defects would be more obvious to her than to oneself or anyone else'. However, she is not in reality at all alarming, and 'has an almost exaggerated gentleness of voice and considerateness of manner, and succeeds very quickly in putting one at ones ease'. She talks well, but not so brilliantly as one would expect, 'though she occasionally says good things'. Mr Lewes is an extremely good talker and 'can keep up a conversation for any length of time, and he tells stories well and has a great many of them, and mimics well, but he is not always quite in good taste.' It has been very pleasant having them there, and hopes that they will come again some day.

Admits that she and Henry feel a certain relief to have the house to themselves again after so many visitors. They intend going up to London on the following Thursday, and to stay there for three nights, as Henry's engagements make that necessary, though they may stay at home if he does not finish his book. From London they propose to go to Broadstairs if Isabel is still there. After this their plans become vague.

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

Letter from J. W. Cross to Henry Sidgwick

Acknowledges receipt of 'Vol II [of George Eliot's Life as related in her Letters and Journals]' and Sidgwick's 'kind note', which he received the previous night. Praises Sidgwick's comments on the letters, and refers to their usefulness to him in their editing and arrangement. Informs him that it will be 'some days' before he sends volume III.

Cross, John Walter (1840-1924) banker

Letter from J. W. Cross to Henry Sidgwick

Sends Vol III [not included] of 'The Life' [George Eliot's Life as related in her Letters and Journals] which he asks Sidgwick to read. Refers to 'the old association' between the latter and Eliot. Intends to send the volume off to press as soon as possible. States that no one outside his own family, aside from Lord Acton, has yet seen it. Claims that he shall feel it 'greatly strengthened by [Sidgwick's] revision' and does not know anyone 'whose judgment [his] wife wd. have trusted more.'

Cross, John Walter (1840-1924) banker

Letter from Rt. Hon. John Morley to Henry Sidgwick

Reports that he has written to Sidgwick's brother [Arthur?], and expresses the hope that he 'may be able to meet his wishes.' Claims to be ashamed of himself for not writing to Sidgwick as he promised to do, 'about Baudeau, Letr[ .], [ ].' Explains that his failure to do so 'was due to absolute incapacity.' Claims that '[his Life of Richard Cobden?]...is a narrative and a biography...and not a treatise.' Expresses the wish that Sidgwick would write an article on George Eliot for the Fortnightly Review.

Morley, John (1838–1923) 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn, politician

Letter from William J. Lewis to Nora Sidgwick

Writes to express his sympathy to Nora on the death of Henry Sidgwick. Reports that the latter's resignation was the first intimation he had that anything was wrong, and that since then he had hoped that 'favourable progress which seemed to be made in June would be maintained'. Claims that few men 'have lived so noble a life - based as it was on a sterling character and on a high sense of duty', and that he 'always had at heart the best interests of education; and always gave without stint to both College and University'. Quoting from George Eliot's The Choir Invisible, he states that Henry 'lived so as to gain a place amongst "the choir invisible of those immortal dead who live again in minds made better by their presence"'.

Lewis, William James (1847-1926) mineralogist

Letter from J.W. Cross to Nora Sidgwick

Sends Nora three letters [from Henry Sidgwick; not included]. Remarks that their quality 'is very characteristic in the generosity of appreciation of another's work.' Discusses the dating of the correspondence and explains how he had estimated the dates. Refers to Middlemarch, to which Henry had referred in one of the letters, and to the latter's favourable reaction to it. In relation to the third letter of 29 April 1880, states that he sends it for Nora's own reading only, as he does not want it to be published.

Cross, John Walter (1840-1924) banker

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Does not like to think of Elizabeth being alone, but Robert says he will be away 'a short time' so hopes this is true. Thinks Elizabeth could certainly 'offer' herself to the Wards, but has not yet established whether they are settled at Stocks. Sir George likes the letter Robert has written to him on classics very much; he thinks him 'such a good critic' and wishes he would write 'prose on Classics - old & new'. Sir Walter Phillimore and his son [Walter or Stephen] are here; wishes Elizabeth were too; hopes Robert is enjoying the Lakes but does not like to think of him leaving her behind. Meg [Margaret Price] has been anxious about Robin, who has been very ill at Harrow with pneumonia but is now recovering; she will probably need to give up her trip to Norway. The hay is to be cut tomorrow; the 'school treat' is on Friday. Asks if Elizabeth has any amusing books; she herself is reading George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda" but finding it 'very long and dull'.

Letter from J. Sully to Nora Sidgwick

Thanks Nora for sending him the letters [his own to Henry Sidgwick]. Is still reading Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir, and is grateful for the opportunity to know Henry's early manhood. Refers to Henry's visit to Berlin, the Franco-Prussian War, 'the reference to George Eliot', the references to the Savile Club and to the Stephens, and says that Henry's experiences in some way mirror his own. Declares that the 'compelling force' of the book is due to the fact that Nora has 'made him reveal himself more fully and more deeply to those who come prepared by some previous knowledge of him, of his mind and character.' Refers to 'a small printer's error' in relation to the spelling of the name of a German poet. Adds that he will be at the address given on the letter - Leinster Square, Bayswater - for only a day or two longer, and suggests that if she were write to him, she should address letters to 'University College, Gower St.'

Sully, James (1842-1928) philosopher and psychologist

Letter from Isabel Sidgwick to Nora Sidgwick

States that by Herbert [her son]'s kind help she is in time to greet Nora the following day. Sends their love to her and best wishes that she may have comfort and the joy of knowing her work is of increasing value. Remarks that Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir seems to be occupying much attention. Has just come from a visit to the O[gles] in London; reports that everybody she met spoke of the great pleasure the book was giving them. Liked the review of it in the Times Literary Supplement, but did not like the one by H. Paul. Adds that those to whom she spoke in London said that the effect of the book was to make them feel as though they had been talking to Henry again.

States that the effect of melancholy to which the reviews allude could not be avoided 'because the letters naturally deal so much with his theological feelings and his deep thoughts on life.' Claims that he was 'so bright and happy in his intercourse with his friends', and how he showed his best side when he felt 'the answering sympathy'. Refers to his complaint of the want of humour in George Eliot, and declares that she has just been reading some of her work, and 'had been feeling this so much - in spite of Mrs Poyser [in Adam Bede] and the 4 aunts'. Declares that they are glad to see that Arthur Balfour 'is so much better for his sea air' and hopes that Monday night won't try him too much. Reports that she had lunch with Nevil the previous day at Lincoln College, and that he could only spare her three hours. Refers also to Arthur. Has been reading [Memoirs of] Archbishop Temple , and remarks on how carelessly it has been edited [by E. G. Sandford]. Remarks that Henry's memoir is 'a charming size', and that one volume is much more likely to be read than two.

Sidgwick, Sarah Isabella (1832-1918) wife of William Carr Sidgwick

Letter from Kate Grove to Nora Sidgwick

Thanks Nora for her copy of Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir, which she read 'with the deepest interest'. Remarks that it seems 'almost breathlessly simple in the way it is told.' Refers to the rareness of Henry's personality and character, and to the 'delicious remark' he made about biographies. Also refers to 'that remark George Elliot made about him', which always seemed to Kate and Edmund [Gurney, her first husband] 'so extraordinarily to express him as he was'. It pains her to think of all Nora suffered during Henry's illness, and that she [Grove] knew nothing of her suffering at the time.

Grove, Kate Sara (1854-1929) wife of Edmund Gurney and Archibald Grove

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Grateful for the detailed information about Bessy and Paul. Has been reading about 'little Paul in Dombey' [Dickens's "Dombey and Son"]; thinks it the 'best account of a child' in literature which he knows, even better than "David Copperfield"; contrasts it with 'a clever, self-conscious woman or man writing about a child' like George Elliot on the Tullivers [in "Mill on the Floss"]. Thanks God that Paul Trevelyan will have a 'better constitution' than Paul Dombey. Sends an 'amusing letter' from [William?] Everett, which Robert need not return; Everett lacks 'front' and is 'at once the youngest and the oldest of human beings'. Is reading [Plautus's] "Trinummus" slowly, as he is getting tired over the end of his book ["The American Revolution"].

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland [crossed through], Morpeth. - Glad that Bessie and Paul have returned to Robert 'in good case [shape]' and that they have good weather. Thanks Robert for his 'researches in Murray' [a reference to the Oxford English Dictionary, currently in production under the editorship of Sir James Murray?] but defends his own use of 'insistent' [in the last volume of "The American Revolution"] rather than 'persistent', citing authorities including George Eliot. The hounds are coming to Wallington today; is glad to be watching them, not hunting.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon - Annie [Philips] is staying with them and is well; she takes a 'good walk' with Sir George in the afternoon. Has news of Bob in London; hopes he will not catch Mary's cold; was glad to hear from Mary that she was deferring her daughters' returns as they would catch colds if they came to London in this weather. There is influenza in Stratford, and the town is full: over a thousand soldiers, plus refugees and wounded. They went to see the hospital, which is 'a curious sight'; 'really wonderful how everyone is working'. Sir George is fairly well, and 'enjoys talking to the officers'; they miss the children. Sure the Abercrombies will be sorry to leave the Shiffolds when the time comes; asks if David could stay a while longer, or if he would be 'an anxiety'. Hopes Miss Evans has come back better; asks if Nurse Godwin has gone. Sends love to Robert. Sir George has recently read her "The Old Curiosity Shop"; it is a 'child's book, but the characters are vivid, and dreadfully exaggerated'. They have just started "Middlemarch", which is very good to read aloud. Has little time for reading as she is doing the accounts and 'making all sorts of resolutions of economy'. Booa [Mary Prestwich] sends her love.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Robert is wise to start Julian on the Bible stories: they are 'absolutely unequalled as narratives for the young, and the million'. Is just finishing 'the 4th Decade of Livy. What a narrator!'. He and Caroline are reading "Middlemarch" aloud; he admires it more and objects to the faults less than ever before. They are getting along quite well, and really like the regiment stationed at Stratford; they expect George and Janet on Saturday. Is 'deeply thankful' to have George back safe [from Serbia].

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Interested to hear Robert's 'mature, fresh judgment' of [George Eliot's] "The Mill on the Floss"; it came out when Sir George was at college and he 'never tired' of reading 'the part about the young people'. Feels Eliot's 'bad' books have 'a strange power of alienating one from her good ones'. Has not been well at all recently, but has 'settled down on a lower plane of health and habits'. Interested by the French discovery of [Robert] Browning.

Letter from E. M. Forster to Elizabeth Trevelyan

West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking. - Thanks for the praise of the book ["A Passage To India"]; is happier than he was about the novel. Wonders if it might be a 'topical success': has sent a copy to Justice [Henry] McCardie [the judge of the O'Dwyer case] but doesn't expect a response. The picture of the 'Anglo-Indian' in the novel is not at all exaggerated: she should ask her husband or Goldie [Dickinson]. Asks her to read the correspondence he encloses out to Bob, a letter from Mrs Evans [George Eliot?] and two copy letters from his grandfather [presumably found while sorting his aunt's papers].

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington. - Has no news, though Geoffrey and Len [Winthrop Young] are coming to lunch. Will write to Tet Htoot to thank him for the letter [see 17/171]. Thinks his eczema is much better, though there are 'some bad tickles left', Charles is reading "Middlemarch" in the evening, which he does very well, 'simply, not rhetorically'. Molly's laryngitis seems to be improving, though she is still writing out words to save her voice. He is doing some translation of Homer, not much. Catherine [Abercrombie] seems well, and 'enjoys being here'. Has been to see Edith Bulmer, who is well herself but 'as usual worried by the boy [Martin]'s having a bad cold'. Hopes Elizabeth is well, and that she enjoyed Van Stuwe's visit.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - They have written to Dr McKenna to see if he can see Bob on Thursday afternoon; would start home from there around 5 pm if so. Will let Bessie know as soon as possible; meanwhile the eczema seems 'a good deal better'. Kitty has gone hiking with a friend, leaving the children here. Molly's laryngitis is 'very much better'. Went to tea [with the Winthrop Youngs] at the Two Queens, which was 'very pleasant'. Charles is 'cheerful and active', and is reading "Middlemarch" to them in the evenings, which he does very well. They have seen Edith Bulmer sever times; she is worried about her boy, Martin, who 'is always getting bad colds and coughs'; she sends Bessie her love. Hopes the Bluths are well; sends his love. Hopes that Mrs MacEvoy is well, and sends 'kind remembrances' to her, Miss Goddard, and Mrs Young.