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Papers of Sir Arthur Eddington
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Papers of Sir Arthur Eddington

  • EDDN
  • Fondo
  • 1897-1982

Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley (1882-1944), knight, theoretical physicist and astrophysicist

Letter from John W. Graham to Sarah Ann Eddington


Grand Hôtel des Bergues, Genève
3. Jan 1898.

Dear Mrs. Eddington,

I sent you just one bit of my ideas abt. Stanley as soon as he left us. The rest must follow now.

His presence has been a great pleasure to us. You have got a boy mixed of most kindly elements, as perhaps Shakspeare might say {1}. His rapidly and clearly working mind has not in the least spoiled his character. I don’t know when I have had to do with so modest and gentlemanly a boy. It is a testimony to day schools and home training, (not, I am afraid, my favourite theory.)

His youth has, of course, been just a little against his making friends, but has not been fatal to it. In Clayton, & in Wood & Brown he has nice associates; but he seems more contented alone than most boys are.

His work is all that I expected, & more: & I feel altogether that he is “a precious youth” committed to my charge. I can realise to some extent what Margaret would feel like if she were left alone to bring up our own little Richard.

I remain
Your friend sincerely
John W. Graham


The writing-paper is engraved with illustrations of the hotel, etc. The year is wrong, as Eddington did not enter Owen’s College till October 1898 (see his Notebook).

{1} Graham evidently had in mind Antony’s encomium on Brutus at the end of Julius Caesar: ‘His life was gentle, and the elements | So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up | And say to all the world “This was a man!”’

‘Books | Sales and Receipts’

(Pasted inside the back cover is a statement of Eddington’s account with the Clarendon Press in respect of sales of Stars and Atoms during the year ending 31 Mar. 1944.)

Account of an expedition to Principe

(This is an early version of part of a report to the Royal Society by the Joint Permanent Eclipse Committee. The latest date mentioned in it is 14 July 1919, and the report was received by the Society on 30 October and read on 6 November.)

‘The Cavendish Laboratory’

(This paper includes a description of Eddington’s visit to the Laboratory in Oct. 1934. W. E. Burcham described the circumstances of its composition as follows: ‘towards the end of 1934 Sir Arthur Eddington wrote a pamphlet describing the Cavendish and its achievements to form the basis of ‘an appeal to the friends of science and of Cambridge’. The pamphlet was published in Feb. 1935, and privately circulated to possible benefactors both within and outside Cambridge. See ‘The Cavendish High-voltage Laboratory 1935-39’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. liii, pp. 121-2. (The title appears under the heading ‘Miscellaneous’ in D2/3.))

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