Item 102 - Letter from Sr. Agnes Mason to Nora Sidgwick

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ADD.MS.c/104/102

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Letter from Sr. Agnes Mason to Nora Sidgwick

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  • 16 Nov 1900 (Creation)

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Explains that there is a question of her writing an article for the Pilot, 'which the Editor proposes to call - "Professor Sidgwick's theological position" '. Wishes to know if Nora would be agreeable to such an article being published. States that it would be 'an explanation of the last chapter of the Methods [of Ethics] by what Dr. Sidgwick said in class in answer to questions.' It has always been a great distress to her that the chapter has been so completely misunderstood, 'even by those whose mere knowledge of his meaning of words ought to have enabled them to understand it.' Adds that her own sense of personal loss 'seems only to go on increasing': she hardly ever saw him, 'but he was there', and adds that he was probably the only person in the world to whom she could at any time have talked with the most absolute freedom and confidence. Until she met him she never had the opportunity of talking with anyone whom she was not afraid of shocking if she said what she really thought. Says that 'it was like entering a new world when [she] first went to his lectures.' Hopes that she did not trouble or vex him when she used to ask him so many questions. States that he was her conscience in all religious difficulties at Newnham, and that it was a great help to her 'in those new conditions to consider what he would have said in any difficulty.' Reports that they were praying for him every day during his illness. Is glad to hear that Nora is going abroad. Tells her not to answer with more than a postcard, saying 'yes' or 'no' in relation to the article.

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