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Papers of William Kingdon Clifford
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Letter from W. K. Clifford to [Lucy Lane]

(Place of writing not indicated.)—Thanks her for her long letter. Discusses arrangements for going to a play, and refers to his negotiations about the house. Mrs Sitwell has invited them to tea. Points out that they only need to understand each other to agree on what is important, and refers to his loneliness since losing ‘the only mind that had really grown up with my own [Crotch]’. Discusses in detail his views on Christianity.

(This letter was written some time between Crotch’s death on 16 June 1874 and Clifford's marriage on 7 April 1875. The Sunday lecture referred to may have been ‘Body and Mind’, read before the Sunday Lecture Society on 1 November 1874.)

Exercise book, containing notes, essays, etc., in W. K. Clifford’s hand

The contents are as follows:

‘Pythian II.’ Notes relating to a lecture on Pindar’s second Pythian Ode, with an incomplete annotated translation.

‘Plato & Co(pe).’ Notes relating to a lecture on Plato’s Phaedrus.

Notes on precession and nutation, the motion of the earth, etc., relating to lectures by [E. J.] Routh.

‘Hamilton’s Principle.’

‘Hayward’s Planetary Theory.’

‘On a Geometrical Theory applicable to Floating Bodies. (Metacenter.)’

‘Adams on Secular Acc[eleratio]n of [the Moon]’s Mean Motion.’

‘Rotation of the Moon. (Stuart, fr[om] Laplace)’

‘Theory of Jupiter’s Satellites. (Laplace).’


‘Enlightened Tolerance.’ First paragraph of a paper later entitled ‘On Toleration and Free Thought’ (see below).

‘Πειθω.’ A poem.

‘A Treatise on the Bottom of the Sea; to which are added Reflexions on the Interpretation of Prophecy.’ Draft of a paper (read before the Parallelepiped Society, 11 May 1865).

‘Τροτηρής, or On Style.’

‘The Mystery of Melancholy.’

‘On Toleration and Free Thought.’ Partial draft of a paper (read before the Parallelepiped Society, 9 Nov. 1865).

‘Of Cowper.’

Untitled essay on the relation between science and theology.

Notes on the question ‘Is the notion of obligation an essential part of morality?’

Notes on the question ‘Why is there so much more difference between man & anthropoid apes than the physical organisms seem to account for?’

‘How definitions are a source of ignorance.’

Notes on the question ‘Can the doctrine of Final Causes be reconciled with Religion?’

‘Eirenicon Magnum.’ Syllabus and draft of a paper (apparently intended to be read before the Parallelepiped Society).

Letter from W. K. Clifford to Mary F. Clifford

58 Montagu Square, London, W.—His health did not suffer by the journey. He got to the ‘diagram man’ just in time to prevent him spoiling them. The experiment will not ‘come off’, but he will repeat the lecture elsewhere in order to do it. ‘Miladi’ [Lady Pollock] has written to her.

(Dated Thursday. The reference to ‘Miladi’ (Lady Pollock) suggests that the letter was written after 23 August 1870, when her husband succeeded to the baronetcy. A reference to Cambridge suggests a date before September 1871, when Clifford moved to London.)

Letter from W. K. Clifford to [Frederick Pollock]

(Place of writing not indicated.)—Has been working with Lockyer on molecules and talking metaphysics with Huxley. Refers to his ‘sermon’ [perhaps ‘Right and Wrong’ or ‘The Ethics of Belief’] on ‘the right and wrong of admitting the results of the scientific method in certain ground which it has already occupied’.

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