James Joseph Sylvester to Barbara Leigh Bodichon

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 7BMC/C/15
  • Dates of Creation
      28 Jan 1878
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Date: 28 Jan. or Jun. 1884. Autograph letter, signed, 4pp. 8vo on Athenaeum Club letterhead, New College Oxford.

'My dear Madame Bodichon -- It was a great pleasure to me to receive your nice letter this morning -- You are I judge much better or you would not be abroad and I was longing to hear about you. I saw the account of your Aunt Julia's death in some newspaper -- and can well understand that you / / would feel her loss acutely -- she was one of those personalities that even a comparative stranger like myself can never forget -- so gentle and amiable and yet so bright and interesting and engaging.Your brother Ben and I have been asking for one another but have never met since his return from the North Pole. It is curious that you should have been able to predict my election to the / / Savilian Professorship of Geometry. At one time I thought my chances more than dubious but in the end I was elected it seems à l'unanimité des Voix. There were 7 Electors (Ld Salisbury [3rd marquis (1830-1903)] one of them) and he is reported to have said that 'had his casting Vote been wanted he wd have given it in my favor' I was going to write 'even he' because most people thought he / / would from his political convictions be adverse to me but I always thought better of him than that. I am now vestute officii a fellow of that beautiful old New College and suppose I shall be likely to meet your cousin Mrs Dicey [Elinor Mary Bonham-Carter, wife of Albert Venn Dicey (1835-1922), jurist and Vinerian professor of English law at Oxford] at Oxford in the course of time.I am so glad to think that you are much better and to have a letter from you. Do not let the correspondence die out How is your sister 'Nanny'? I have great work in Algebra on hand -- quite a new revelation. Ever yours truly JJ Sylvester.'