Hodge writes to Pedoe
On 15 December 1941, W V D Hodge wrote to Daniel Pedoe who, at that time, was a junior lecturer at the University of Southampton. Here is a text of this letter:
My Dear Pedoe,
For some time now I have been meaning to write you, but have not been able to find the time. The arrival today of the photo-copy of Severi's paper makes me feel I must make the time, so here goes. Many thanks for Severi's paper; I shall enjoy reading it, and will send it back to you when I have finished.
The first point is a small one. Your corrected proofs of your projective differential geometry note have been looked at by Hardy, and have come to me as Secretary. Both of us feel that there is no need for a revised proof, and to save time, money, and paper we have crossed out your request for a revise and marked them for press. I hope you don't mind. We shall see that your corrections are made as you wish.
Now for the main point. I had a class of four this term, and in addition have been preparing for the press some investigations on the Schubert calculus in which I think I have put the whole subject, as far as applications to linear spaces are concerned, on a sound footing, so I have not had much time for thinking of a book. However, I have not forgotten the idea entirely: and during odd moments I have jotted down a synopsis of materials for the various chapters. In doing so, I gave myself a completely free hand, refusing to be bound by any preconceived ideas; this was in order to see what the results look like, so that I could then have some idea of what shape the book would take. The result was, of course, that I found I had the material for a book which would suit young men about to read Part III [of the Cambridge mathematical tripos], but which was by no means what I had first intended, viz. the geometrical counterpart of Hardy's Pure Mathematics.