Item 112 - James David Forbes to William Whewell

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Add. MS a/204/112


James David Forbes to William Whewell


  • 29 Dec. 1854 (Creation)

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9 pp

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Edinburgh - JDF has not passed an autumn without illness since 1851, and gives WW a long description of how his good health has been achieved. The sudden death of Edward Forbes 'has produced a profound sensation'. Only a few days ago JDF had attended one of his lectures. JDF would have put aside his dispute with Louis Agassiz, and should have been glad to see him if he could be persuaded to come over: 'but unfavourable reports of his views of geology connected with scripture, the unity of the human races etc are here in circulation, of the truth of which I know nothing'. Clerk Maxwell is currently with JDF - he is much improved by his stay at Cambridge, and 'spoke to me in a very manly way about his disappointment of a fellowship'. Maxwell has made some 'ingenious experiments and deductions about combinations of colours..and also about Daltonians or Idiopts'. How does WW feel about the government drawing away Stokes and Willis to become lecturers in London 'to (at best) a very limited class of students, thus peculiarly favoured'. JDF is sorry to hear of the 'serious difference' between Challis and Adams.

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