Clifford Letters

Scope and Content

Letters from William Kingdon Clifford to Mrs Pollock, concerning religion.

Administrative / Biographical History

Clifford was born in 1845. He was educated at Exeter, at King's College London and at Trinity College Cambridge. He was appointed Professor of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics at University College London in 1871, a post he held till 1879. A mathematician, Clifford was also a classical scholar and read French, German, Spanish and modern Greek fluently. However, he drove himself relentlessly and worked long hours. Signs of pulmonary disease appeared in 1876 and he died in 1879 at the age of 33.

Mrs Pollock was probably the wife of Frederick Pollock (later Sir), who jointly edited 'Lectures and essays by the late William Kingdon Clifford, F R S' (1879).

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Related Material

University College London Special Collections also holds mathematical fragments by Clifford, c1881 (Ref: MS ADD 104); two letters to Mrs Pollock [1869-1870] (Ref: MS ADD 136); a letter to Mrs Cayley [1870s] and one to Mrs Besant, 1876 (Ref: MS MISC 3C); a letter relating to absence from a Higher Senior Mathematics Class, 1879 (Ref: COLLEGE CORRESPONDENCE AM/C/19); a letter, 1868 (Ref: L M S PAPERS); letters to George Croom Robertson (Ref: MS ADD 88); and letters of his wife, Lucy, to Karl Pearson (Ref: PEARSON).