Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Neuchatel.

She writes about the 'wonderful Egyptian march and the fall of Khartoum'. She makes reference to the 'news from Cyprus' and 'the assassination of the Empress of Austria in Geneva'. She is off the next day to spend a week with Mme. De Ginging at her beautiful old castle on the Jura. It is a great trial to her not being able to read print, but complete rest is doing her eyes much good. She thinks the Dreyfus case has done some good for France by banding together men in pursuit of justice who would otherwise never have met let alone worked together.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Gordon is grandly avenged at last'

General Gordon was killed 26 Jan 1895 when Khartoum fell to the Mahdi followers. The relief expedition did not arrive till the 28th

Kitchener who was Sudan of the Egyptian from 1890, had long laid his plans to reconquer the Sudan. Following the defeat of the Italians at Adowa by the Abyssinians Mar 1896 the Italians at Kassala were heavily attached by the Sudan dervishes and this gave Kitchener the opportunity to put his plans into action. He advanced by short stages up the Nile building a railway as he went. On 2 Sep 1898 a dervish army was defeated outside Omdurman. Omdurman and Khartoum were immediately occupied. Kitchener was created Baron after the victory of Omdurman

(Ensor England 1870-1914 pp 243-4)

'The assassination of the Empress of Austria in Geneva': Elizabeth, Consort of Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria (1837-1898) 10 Sep 1898 stabbed by anarchist while going from her hotel at Geneva to the steamer on the lake. See also letter of 15 Sep JB to Miss Forsaith

'We suffer now from the indecision of that monstrous delusion the Concert of Europe. I am sorry for poor old Lord Salisbury. He has had a hard task'

The dominant feature of the 1890s was the emergence of the Dual Alliance of France and Russia and the Triple Alliance of Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary

An effort to promote the policy of the 'Concert of Europe' was the issue by Tsar Nicholas II in Aug 1898 of an invitation to all Governments to take part in a Conference

(For further details see note letter of 3 Sep 1898 JB to Stanley)

Lord Salisbury as JB said had a hard task as the 6th Power outside the Dual and the Triple Alliance

One course was 'to blur the sharpness of the rival alliances to preaching and practising the Concert of Europe - six friendly powers working together, not two rival alliances drawing apart

(See Ensor England 1870-1914 p 257)

Biog: Gordon, Kitchener, Mme de Gingins, Elizabeth Empress of Austria, Lord Salisbury (Cecil), Charles Parker