Today Maria Sharpe Pearson (1853-1928) is hardly known. However, as the wife of Karl Pearson (1857-1936), Goldsmid Professor of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (1884-1911) and Galton Professor of Eugenics (1911-1933) at UCL, Sharpe’s writings are kept in the UCL’s Pearson Papers. As many British intellectuals in the 1880s, the Pearson family was particularly attracted to Norway and Norwegian landscape. Maria Sharpe first visited Norway in 1889 and again in 1890 on her honeymoon. This letter to Maria Sharpe Pearson written by her brother Radford Sharpe was written on 23 August 1896 from Turtagrø Hotel in the municipality of Luster in Vestland county, Norway, near Hurrungane in Jotunheimen. Radford Sharpe recounts his itinerary and comments on the beauty of the location adding a sketch of the landscape. The characterisation of Norwegians as ‘simple & friendly’ is typical of British nineteenth-century representations of Norway.
For a picture of Turtegrø Hotel at the time of Radford Sharpe’s visit see the Digital Collections of Norsk Teknisk Museum.
Location: UCL Special Collections, Pearson Papers