Item 6 - Letter from Nora Sidgwick to Mary Sidgwick

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ADD.MS.c/105/6

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Letter from Nora Sidgwick to Mary Sidgwick

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  • 3 Jun 187[7?] (Creation)

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Incomplete. They have got summer at last 'and are even inclined to think it too hot' that day; hopes that Mary has nice weather also. Is particularly glad they have got a fine day since 'the Lewes'' [George Eliot and G. H. Lewes] have been with them since Thursday, as the guests of both Gurney and the Sidgwicks. Remarks on the difference the sun makes to Cambridge, and describes the effect of a summer sunset.

Was rather alarmed at the prospect of having Eliot there: '[o]ne feels beforehand as if she had such a terrible power of analysing ones character - that all ones defects would be more obvious to her than to oneself or anyone else'. However, she is not in reality at all alarming, and 'has an almost exaggerated gentleness of voice and considerateness of manner, and succeeds very quickly in putting one at ones ease'. She talks well, but not so brilliantly as one would expect, 'though she occasionally says good things'. Mr Lewes is an extremely good talker and 'can keep up a conversation for any length of time, and he tells stories well and has a great many of them, and mimics well, but he is not always quite in good taste.' It has been very pleasant having them there, and hopes that they will come again some day.

Admits that she and Henry feel a certain relief to have the house to themselves again after so many visitors. They intend going up to London on the following Thursday, and to stay there for three nights, as Henry's engagements make that necessary, though they may stay at home if he does not finish his book. From London they propose to go to Broadstairs if Isabel is still there. After this their plans become vague.

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