Item 71 - Letter from N. MacColl to Nora Sidgwick

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Add. MS c/103/71

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Letter from N. MacColl to Nora Sidgwick

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  • 25 Apr [1904] (Creation)

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(1843-1904)

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Confirms that Sir Leslie Stephen's information was correct: Henry Sidgwick contributed 'highly important articles to the Athenæum in the early seventies'; all those articles were anonymous; thinks that Sidgwick began to contribute them 'much about the same time as the late Professor Cowell'. Relates that when Sidgwick retired 'he was good enough to say that he had enjoyed his connection with the paper', but that other pressures of time forced him to break it. Regrets to say that his notes have not been preserved. Recalls a review Sidgwick wrote of a book by 'a Mr. Leifchild'. Believes that the late Dr. Gray of the British Museum wrote most of the articles, and that when he [MacColl] took over the editorship of the paper, he found that it was 'committed to strong opposition to [Darwin]'. At that time Dr Gray was dead and Mr Leifchild 'continued in the same strain'. MacColl asked Sidgwick to review a book by Leifchild on the origins of man, without telling Sidgwick the latter's connection with the paper. Reports that the result was 'an antagonistic but quite courteous criticism that much surprised both Mr. L. and his publishers.' Claims that after that there was never any doubt of the paper's attitude towards Darwin's views. Offers to make out a list of Henry's reviews.

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ADD.MS.c/104/5: Copy of letter from Nora Sidgwick to Norman MacColl, 24 Apr 1894, to which this letter is presumably a reply.

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