James Joseph Sylvester to Barbara Leigh Bodichon

Scope and Content

Autograph letter, signed, 3+pp. 8vo., Swanage.

'Dear Madame Bodichon I have been back in England since the beginning of this month, driven out of the States by the heat of the climate and general mal-aise, but return there by the steamer which leaves Liverpool next Saturday week and proceed straight to Baltimore where my work is and where the University opens at the commencement of October. I was quite prostrated in tone and spirits when I stepped on board the steamer but the sea-voyage and return to old habits / / and associations have quite set me up again and I am told that the weather has become deliciously cool in America since I left. I leave this place tomorrow for London and should be glad to have a chance of seeing you before my departure -- Shall you be in London or at Scaland's Gate and will it be agreeable to you to receive a visit from me? I gave a letter of introduction to you to Miss Gilman (sister of the President of our University) some few weeks ago -- so also I did to Mrs Spottiswoode but as that letter was not presented so probably may yours not have been -- When you see me, if I may trust what people / / say, you will not believe how thoroughly prostrate and out of sorts I was before I came home -- Dr Osling(?) who took the outward voyage with me said I looked the picture of wretchedness and as I looked so I felt In future I shall hope to pass from June to October in Europe or on my way to it every year, as I have the right to do according to the stipulation which this year I have not enforced but shall do so rigidly hereafter as part of my bargain with the University. How unlike America is Europe! much further from us English than are the French Italians Germans or Russians although they speak the same language and outwardly follow the same habits / / I do not think it possible that I can ever regard America as a home. Yours very truly JJ Sylvester.'