Elisabeth Cobb to Jane Addams, January 2, 1923


2 Jan. [1923].

Dear Miss Addams.

I am sending you a letter to my friend Mrs. [Mukherjee] in Calcutta, she is right in among the reforming women in the Calcutta & will I am sure introduce you to others. As long ago as 1870 when a student over here her grandfather Prasanna-Kumar Roy met to teach me, also in my student days, Bengali, I hoped to go out there to teach. He was a rare sweet [soul] & I believe is so still, it is many years [page 2] since I saw him. When he was at the Edinburgh University he shared the gold medal for Moral Philosophy with Lord Haldane, who still keeps up correspondence with him. His wife, a most active worker in Calcutta, has several times been in England, & last year their daughter Mrs [Mukherjee] came, to settle in her son & daughter at respective Colleges, so I have known 3 generations of them. She is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, a sweet "all-round" woman. Then there is Lady Bose (wife of Sir J. C. Bose [page 3] the scientist) & sister of Mr P. K. Roy who you must be [sent to her] also. Mr [Mukherjee] will introduce her, she is also one of the best of women. To know these Indian women well as I do has been one of the privileges of my life. I am sure they will give you a warm welcome. I only wish [Mrs Mukherjee] had been here to go with me to The Hague Congress the other day, she would have immensely appreciated it. She is one of the most receptive women I have ever met & to me at least immensely attractive. So is her Aunt Lady Bose. Mrs P. K. Roy has perhaps not [page 4] quite so much personality, but she is a very hard worker for women's education.

I am so sorry I am obliged to scribble in haste this [way]. I will write to Mrs [Mukherjee] [all] about you by this mail & she will expect the letter.

Should you come [through] England on your way home I hope so much I may see you again.

Believe me

Cordially yours

Elisabeth Cobb. [page 5]


I have also written a letter for you to Mr Bhupendra N. Bose. He is a great friend of mine, a remarkable & very unique man, there is no one else like him. He is on the India Council in Whitehall, but now at home in India, to escape the winter. Mr. Edwin Montagu the late S. of State for India is absolutely devoted to him. Lord Lytton is very fond of him too. He cannot be called a ↑social↓ Reformer, he is an old Hindu at heart, & does not wish to see his country like the Western Nations, he believes Eastern calm & dignity is more precious than [illegible]. He is deeply learned in Hindu [lore], & when we talk has [page 6] generally a Sanskrit parallel for anything spoken of. He helped Mr Montagu much in his reforming scheme -- political -- He loves to come & sit in our garden under the trees & talk [illegible] together. He hates London life. I understand he still keeps his women-kind in seclusion because his wife to whom he is devoted, wishes it, & he allows her to rule in her household. He lives with sons & nephews & their wives & children in a patriarchal house, but keeps a guest-house in the [ground] for his English friends. He is altogether absolutely unlike anyone else, [further] he is in a way modern too. I think you would be interested to see him.

E. C.