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William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879), Mathematician and metaphysician

Sitter in 1 portrait
Born on 4 May 1845, Clifford was a precociously intelligent child and in his brief career became one of the most respected mathematicians and philosophers of his day. Strongly influenced by the evolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, he was a fluent and charismatic speaker and dedicated his energies to the popularisation of recent scientific thought. Married in 1875 to the writer, Lucy Lane, their house was the meeting place for many of the leading intellectual figures of the period. Clifford died from tuberculosis on 3 March 1879.

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William Kingdon Clifford

reduced replica by John Collier
oil on canvas, 1899
NPG 1231