Item 132 - James David Forbes to William Whewell

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James David Forbes to William Whewell


  • 4 Mar. 1860 (Creation)

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5 pp

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Edinburgh - Thanks WW for his volume on the philosophy of discovery: 'I have looked (though imperfectly) into the theological part of your volume; and am pleased to see, as usual, the manly expression of Religious Thought, which so many so-called strong minded men seem to regard as an expression of weakness'. JDF is glad that WW referred him for the interpretation of WW's remarks on public schools to 'Tom Brown' and 'Eric' [by Thomas Hughes and Frederic Farrar, see JDF to WW, 5 February 1860]: 'My own judgment of Tom Brown as a book to be put into the hands of young people was not favourable, but I found I could not well keep it out of the hands of my boys. But when Eric was given to them in a present by an intimate friend, I fairly rebelled and locked it up. You, of course object still more to the thing, than to the telling of it. Yet I cannot conceive that a premature acquaintance with the ways of vice can be a safeguard to its attractions. I consider Eric to be an indefensible book'. They have had to appoint a new President to the Edinburgh Royal Society due to the death of Thomas Brisbane. JDF would have easily been elected but decided not to stand. Consequently it has gone to the Duke of Argyll - who 'was elected as a Scottish nobleman fond of science'.

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