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Letter from A. S. Eddington to Sarah Ann Eddington


R.M.S: Anselm
Tuesday, March 11 | 1919

My very dear Mother

We are now approaching Lisbon and expect to arrive soon after daylight tomorrow morning. The weather has been pretty good; it was warmest on Sunday, which was a beautiful sunny day, and one could sit out on deck chairs without an overcoat. Yesterday and today, there was more wind and occasional showers. It has not been very rough, but there was sufficient motion to make a good many of the passengers unhappy. Of our party, Crommelin & Cottingham succumbed for a time, but they both seem much better today.

We all arrived at Euston an hour-and a half before the train started; but it took a good while to deal with our bulky luggage. We were charged 30/– excess, but most of that was for the object-glasses which being labelled “glass” were charged at a higher rate. We got to Liverpool at 3∙45 and then difficulties began. The Hotels were full and there were scarcely any porters at the station. At last we found a porter of a baggage agency, and put all except our handbags in his charge to deliver to the Steamer. Then we set off in a taxi to hunt for a Hotel. After 3 or 4 attempts we got in at quite a comfortable commercial hotel. I think we were probably very lucky. It was a pouring wet night, so we did not go out.

The next day we got down to the dock about 10 a.m. Our luggage was promised for 10∙30 a.m.; but did not arrive. Soon after 11 we had to go on board, because the emigration officer was only there for a short time. He just looked at the passports and did not worry about anything else. We were not very anxious about the luggage because we soon found about a dozen other passengers were in the same plight as ourselves having entrusted their luggage to the same firm. Ultimately about 12∙30 it all turned up, and we went down to lunch, much relieved.

The Anselm is a very nice boat, and seems much roomier than I expected. I should think there are at least sixty first-class passengers on board. Our cabin is nicely placed, a good height above the water, and is very quiet. Davidson & Crommelin are next door. It seems curious to have done with rationing entirely—unlimited sugar, and large slices of meat, puddings with pre-war quantity of raisins & currants in them, new white rolls, and so on.

We left at about 2 p.m. and went slowly through a chain of docks to the Mersey. One of the Directors of the Booth Line was on board at the start and saw us for a few minutes. We saw the lights of Holyhead about 9 p.m. and stopped a few minutes to drop the pilot. Since then we have seen no land whatever, and have had only very vague ideas as to our position; there is still a war-regulation which forbids them letting us know where we are & what our course is.

Davidson & Crommelin had to sit at the Captain’s table, so our party was broken up. It is supposed to be a special favour to be asked to sit there; but as they are too far from the Captain to get to know him, it does not seem much good. There is one other passenger whom I knew through correspondence, Mr. Walkey an amateur astronomer. He is going out for the Bible Society to live on a house-boat on the Amazon travelling up and down the various tributaries. He expects to be out there most of his life.

I have had a few games of chess with Crommelin and also with a Frenchman, have read a bit, and passed the time very comfortably. I am quite glad to be having a long steamer trip again.

With very dear love from
your affectionate son


Numbered ‘1st’ at the head. Two passages have been marked off in pencil by a later hand.

Letter from Arthur Schuster to A. S. Eddington


Victoria Park, Manchester
Novr 9. 1909

Dear Mr Eddington,

May I ask you—in confidence—whether you consider yourself definitely fixed to “Astronomy” or whether you would at all consider a return to Physics as possible.—I am not at liberty to go into details but the question arises whether in case a chair of Theoretical Physics were founded here or elsewhere and suitable conditions were offered you would be prepared to accept the chair.—Also in that case it might help matters if you wd let me know what conditions you would consider acceptable.

You may take it for granted that the duties wd leave you plenty of time for private work and that nothing wd prevent you continuing to prosecute the line of research on which you have entered with such success

I remain
Yours sincerely
Arthur Schuster.

Letter from Lord Acton to Nora Sidgwick

Writes on the death of Henry Sidgwick, and expresses his, Lady Acton's and others' sympathies on her 'dreadful loss'. Declares that he has lost 'the best of friends and colleagues...' Refers to the sympathy and admiration he felt for Henry in relation the manner in which he bore his illness. Reports that [Andrew?] Forsyth spent an hour discussing things with Sidgwick at Jebb's, 'and had no idea till long after that anything was wrong.' States that they were not aware of the gravity of the situation until three weeks earlier, when he met Nora with Arthur J. Balfour.

Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg (1834-1902) 1st Baron Acton, historian

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for her letter. Thinks that his illness was due to something he ate. Declares that he enjoyed his visit to [London], and sent an account of the visit to [ ]. Reports that Mr Wheatley [his godfather] was very kind to the. Declares that he would like to see Miss Green [his former governess] if his mother can induce her to stay until he [and his brother William] come home. Refers to his mother's advice about his chess playing and assures her that he has not played more that five games 'since the beginning of the quarter...' Asks her to buy something for [his friend] Harry James out of his money. Explains how they were 'got into the 2nd class in German', and in relation to the play declares that they do not have to translate it themselves. Sends his love to all at home, 'including Elizabeth [Cooper]'.

Letter from Lady Victoria Welby-Gregory to Nora Sidgwick

States that 'having so long and so eagerly looked out for any request for "letters"' the appearance of a notice in Macmillan's Magazine of the impending appearance of a memoir with Henry Sidgwick's letters has come as somewhat of a shock to her. Begs Nora's forgiveness if she has sent any of the enclosed letters [105/45/2-5], but Miss C[arter] does not remember copying them. If she ever tries 'to give some sketch of the inception' of her work on "Significs" she would certainly have to refer to Henry 'as being one of its first and greatest promoters'. Refers to the accompanying letters, and also to the assistance Henry gave her in conversation on the matter. She will be sorry if none of the letters appeared in the memoir. She has often lately longed to tell Henry 'of the abounding signs that the young world is beginning to see...that the key to one of the greatest of the human positions has been lost and must be found'; predicts that she will not live to see the result of such finding, but that it is enough to be allowed to help 'even so little or badly towards it'. Adds that there are many more short letters, but that they are chiefly about dates or places etc.

Accompanied by envelope, addressed to Nora Sidgwick at Newnham College, with MS notes in Nora's hand: 'Lady Welby/Copies of letters from Henry/Received too late to be considered for Memoir'.

Letter from Arthur Sidgwick to Nora Sidgwick.

Returns the obituary of Henry Sidgwick [included: 106/1B], which he describes as 'a very extraordinary production, and yet touching.' Supposes that 'her feeling pressed for utterance and she [Meta Benfey] thought it was so long ago that it did not matter'. Has translated the exordium and sent it to Minnie; thinks that he had said to Nora the previous night that he would send the translation of the Benfey article to her, but failed to send it, and so sent it to Minnie. With envelope addressed to Nora Sidgwick, postmarked 28 Nov 1906

Sidgwick, Arthur (1840–1920), educationist and classical scholar

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