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Letter from Leslie Stephen to Henry Sidgwick

Expresses his eagerness to write in honour of Darwin [on the occasion of the publication of Francis Darwin's Life and Letters of Charles Darwin], but envisages some difficulties, viz., the papers, including the Times, being so full of Darwin 'from every point of view' that it will be difficult 'to make one's voice heard.' Presumes that [J. T. ?] Knowles and others have already arranged for reviews. Refers to Darwin's own autobiography, and suggests that any review should merely say 'read it'. Remarks that F[rancis] Darwin 'may be quite sure that the book has intrinsic interest enough to dispense with any [puffing] or interpreting.' Undertakes to read the book at once, and consider what he can do. Complains of '[t]hat accursed dictionary [of National Biography]', which he describes as a treadmill, but claims that he is getting into a sort of routine, which will give him time to do other things. Claims that he is always trying to get to Cambridge to see his boy [his step-son George Duckworth] there, but doesn't often succeed; hopes to be there one day during the term, and promises to make an effort to see Sidgwick. Expresses his [and Mrs Stephen's) gladness that [Arthur?] Balfour is convalescing.

Stephen, Sir Leslie (1832–1904), knight, author and literary critic

Letter from Leslie Stephen to Henry Sidgwick

Thanks Sidgwick for his paper, and undertakes to consult him as to the most desirable topic for his own observations. Remarks that he may be able 'to say something which may annoy somebody without touching upon freewill or the categorical imperative'. Wishes him all success against his 'old enemy the [Hay] Fever.' Complains about his dictionary editing work [for the Dictionary of National Biography]. Relates that he had 'a rather bad upset' a fortnight previously, and has been told to do nothing for another six weeks or so. Regrets not having seen Sidgwick some days before.

Stephen, Sir Leslie (1832–1904), knight, author and literary critic

Letter from Leslie Stephen to Henry Sidgwick

Mentions that in their list of names for the Dictionary [of National Biography] is Arthur Holmes, who was Sidgwick's contemporary at Cambridge. States that he knew him, but is unable to find any account of his life. Asks Sidgwick to tell him where an account might be found, and if Holmes produced or edited any work 'which makes a notice of him desirable.' Reports that he is slowly, but steadily improving in health, despite an attack of influenza. Is more confident that another summer of idlesness will restore him to working order.

Stephen, Sir Leslie (1832–1904), knight, author and literary critic

Letter from Sir Leslie Stephen to Nora Sidgwick

Was glad to have Nora's letter, and to hear that she was not dissatisfied with his article on Henry Sidgwick [for Mind]. Notes her corrections, but fears that he will not be able to make use of them because the dictionary article [for the Dictionary of National Biography] 'is necessarily very condensed', and doubts whether it contains any of the inaccuracies she mentions. States that he took the date of the lectureship from a paper given to him by [Henry?] Jackson. Did not mean to imply that Henry Sidgwick 'intentionally stammered: but only that he managed to turn it to account.' Hopes that she may be able to put together the letters and life, and supercede his 'and other ephemeral notices.' Will call on her the next time he is in Cambridge.

Stephen, Sir Leslie (1832–1904), knight, author and literary critic

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Quotes Macaulay ["Lays of Ancient Rome: The Battle of the Lake Regillus]" and Horace [Odes 3.18: in Latin] since a letter from George this morning, about 'a very different scene in Italy" reminded him that it was the Nones of December. George is very well, which is a relief since they had seen a notice in the paper about his ambulance carrying away '400 cholera patients'; two of his Italian ambulance orderlies died of it in forty eight hours, but none of the Englishmen have it and it seems to be 'yielding to the cold'. Quotes George's description of the eviction, under Austrian shell-fire, of the hill-station hospitals beyond Quisca [Kojsko], at length; he gives a 'most curious account of men's behaviour under fire' illustrating 'the sort of courage required in this... novel form of war'. They get each other's 'Sunday letter' quite regularly on the following Sunday, by official bag. Caroline did not need to leave the train carriage from Scot's Gap to Stratford, so is no worse, though the 'fog was as bad as bad'; is greatly relieved to have her here. They have begun to read [Sir Walter] Scott's "Life" aloud, after having read "Illumination" and "All's Well That Ends Well", which must have been 'a rattling play to act'. Agrees with Robert that the 'arrangement' of The Old Wives' [Tale]" [Arnold Bennett] is 'strange but very masterly'. Very much enjoyed their long time with Elizabeth and Julian; glad it did them both good. Has been reading the very good article on Chaucer in the 'Biographical Dictionary' by [John Wesley] Hales, of whom he has 'never consciously heard', though he was '4th Classic in Henry Sidgwick's year and Sidgwick was always so interested in other college men of his time'.

Letter from Sidney Lee to [William Aldis Wright?]

Dictionary of National Biography, 15 Waterloo Place S.W. - Is sorry to hear of his correspondent's 'disablement' and hopes it is temporary only. Passes on the results of his research into the death of Savile Morton and the acquittal of his killer [Harold] Elyot Bower.

Letters from W. P. Courtney to William Aldis Wright about Robert Smith

Both letters on headed notepaper for the Reform Club, Pall Mall S.W. - Asking for information on Robert Smith 'for incorporation in a memoir of Robert Smith' [most likely the biography which Courtney wrote of Smith for the Dictionary of National Biography, for which Aldis Wright is cited as a source].