[Thomas George Bonney, geologist, Alpine mountaineer.] Autograph Letter Signed ('T G Bonney'), urging a lady to abandon 'matters far too difficult and complicated' for her, to be 'useful to others in a less ambitious but more practical sphere'.

T. G. Bonney [Thomas George Bonney] (1833-1923), geologist and Alpine mountaineer, President of the Geological Society of London and the Alpine Club
Publication details: 
8 October 1904. On letterhead of 23 Denning Road, Hampstead, N.W. [London]
SKU: 22579

See Bonney's entry in the Oxford DNB. 4pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The recipient is not named. It is unfortunate that the subject of the letter is not stated. Against the charge of misogyny, it should be noted that Bonney 'had the reputation of being a hard teacher, but also a generous man', and that he could equally well have written in the same way to a man he considered equally ill-equipped for a theological task. (He was active as a theologian, wrote several collection of sermons, and had been a preacher at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall.) The letter begins: 'Dear Madam | The question in your postscript is so vague and general in form that it would be impossible for me to undertake to answer it, except with the same vagueness. But, as I said before, I cannot spare the time for correspondence of that kind.' In reply to her question whether she has 'done any good by writing to the speaker at the Church Congress' he replies: 'As I have not been there and have not read much about it, I cannot tell, but must frankly say that I do not expect it.' His view of such speakers is that they are 'for the most part men who are likely to have thought upon and know more of the subject than you can possibly do'. He continues: 'After what you told me some time ago about yourself and your occupation, I must say that I fear you have taken up matters far too difficult and complicated for you to deal with.' He advises her 'to turn your thoughts to less ambitious work, to consult the clergy of the church which you attend, on whom you have, in consequence, some claim and see if they cannot put you in the way of being useful to others in a less ambitious but more practical sphere'.