Item 8 - Letter from W. K. Clifford to Frederick Pollock

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Letter from W. K. Clifford to Frederick Pollock


  • [late 1870?] (Creation)

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Trinity College, Cambridge.—Refers to a forthcoming Congregation, and other engagements. Comments on Rossetti’s Poems and [George Eliot’s] ‘Legend of Jubal’. Is eagerly awaiting [Swinburne’s] Songs before Sunrise.

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Trin. Coll. Camb.

Dear Fred

Congregation on Thursday. Dine with me on Wednesday at seven. The General is coming. We have chosen the 8th or 15th for Richmond with strong preference for the 8th. Of course you have read Rosetti’s pomes & the legend of Jubal {1}. I don’t know whether I like the latter—it is rather ingenious to use that unaccountably silly legend of the long lives to illustrate that men are only επωνυμοι {2} to the gods we make of them. Some of R’s things are very pretty, and some almost powerful: the thought seems to me archaic. I die daily till “Songs before Sunrise” {5} be mine.

The Flies will just have to perform on the 24th; there will be swell gymnastics in the morning, and everybody shall be put up. Thine W.K.C.

If you will hint your pleasure I will get the supplicat ready and things. I expect also Charles Niven.


Written in purple ink.

{1} Rossetti’s Poems, his first major collection, appeared in 1870. George Eliot's poem 'The Legend of Jubal' was first published in Macmillan’s Magazine in May the same year.

{2} Presumably the sense is ‘those who give their names to’.

{3} Swinburne's Songs before Sunrise was published in 1871. On 4 January it was advertised in The Times (p. 12) as being ‘just ready’.

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