Pièce 19 - Letter from W. K. Clifford to (William) Frederick Pollock

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Letter from W. K. Clifford to (William) Frederick Pollock


  • 13 Mar. 1868 (Production)

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Trinity College, Cambridge.—Thanks him and his wife for some books. He will probably go to Naples, if he still can. Has received a proof of his lecture [‘On Some of the Conditions of Mental Development’].

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Coll: SS. Trin. Cantab:
Friday Mar. 13/68

Dear Mr Pollock

I return the speech of Dean Stanley {1}, which I have read with great delight and thank you exceedingly for the loan. The last part especially does one good—“There are … against whom you … dare not propose to institute proceedings ‥ I might mention one … and that individual is the one who now addresses you”—I thought that particularly sweet and refreshing. Will you thank Mrs Pollock also from me for the Autocrat? What an admirable seidlitz powder it makes! I have been lucky enough to secure the first volume of the Guardian Angel at the Union, and think it promises to be at least equal to Elsie Venner. The Autocrat is quite alive in Byles Gridley {2}. On reflection I am likely to go to Naples, if the opportunity is still open, and if it is possible to acquire sufficient knowledge of the rout† before that time—I think you said the 3rd of April. A proof of my lecture has come this morning: the assistant secretary, I suppose, has altered my last sentence into “It is not right to be too proper.” δf too.

With more thanks than I can at all express to you and Mrs Pollock for your great kindness to me

I remain
Yours most truly
+W. K. Clifford.


Letter-head of the Cambridge Union Society. On the back is written ‘1866–1868’, which probably indicates that the letter was once at the end of a bundle.

{1} Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, The South African Controversy in its Relations to the Church of England: a Speech delivered in the Lower House of the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury, June 29, 1866 (1867).

{2} The references are to books by Oliver Wendell Holmes: his celebrated collection of essays The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table (1857), and the novels Elsie Venner (1861) and The Guardian Angel* (1867). Byles Gridley is a character in latter.

{3} ‘On Some of the Conditions of Mental Development’, delivered at the Royal Institution on 6 March. It was printed in the Institution’s Proceedings.

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