Mlle Souvestre to Mrs Strachey

Scope and Content

[Letter written at the time of crisis in the illness of Frances Stephen (daughter of Sir James Fitzroy Stephen baronet and judge brother of Leslie Stephen. He served in India 1869-1872 as legal member of the Council and was therefore known to the Stracheys, and it was through Mrs Strachey that Frances went to 'Les Ruches']. Another bad night without sleep, and her temperature which had been lowered by immersion, rose in frightening manner. Lina and Amy Ainsworth are always by her in the absence of the nurse brought from London. Lady Stephen is always the same, revives very quickly under the stimulus of hope because she does not know how to judge symptoms and so never knows what remedy is required. But she has great fortitude and is admirable by the side of her daughter. But she is glad that her friend has informed Sir James, though when she asked Lady Stephen if she were writing to her husband she said ''hat she did not want to give him useless anxiety''. A note added by Lina; there had been some question of Lady S. getting her sister to come and help but she thought they had material help enough. They would fight on while there was the least ray of hope; she is alive but that is all. On no account show these letters to anyone, they are for Mrs Strachey's eyes only. 24-26 Jan 1880.