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Record 20266

Reading Experience:

'My father has been quite sewed up for some days back, by Clifford’s article: (a fine article it was too);[…].'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Until: 7 Jun 1875
Country: Probably Scotland.
Time: n/a
Place: city: Probably Edinburgh.
county: Lothian
specific address: Possibly Swanston Cottage, Lothianburn, Edinburgh.
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Robert Louis Stevenson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 13 Nov 1850
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Aspiring writer and intermittent law student
Religion: Uncommitted.
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: Probably Scotland.
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: William Kingdom Clifford
Title: The Unseen Universe or Physical Speculations on a Future State
Genre: Other religious, Science
Form of Text: Print: Serial / periodical, Review article. Probably read in print after publication, but possibly in another earlier form since RLS was acquainted with its author.
Publication details: In the June 1875 issue of the "Fortnightly Review".
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 20266  
Source - Print  
  Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
  Editor: Bradford A. Booth
  Title: The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879
  Place of Publication: New Haven and London
  Date of Publication: 1994
  Vol: 2
  Page: 141
  Additional comments: Section headed Monday [7 June] in Letter 394, To Frances Sitwell, Friday [4 June 1875], [Swanston]. Co-editor Ernest Mehew. The dates in square brackets have been added by the editors.

Citation: Robert Louis Stevenson, Bradford A. Booth (ed.), The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879 (New Haven and London, 1994), 2, p. 141,, accessed: 06 July 2020

Additional comments:

Editors’ Note 2 on p. 141 reads:”In the June "Fortnightly" W.K. Clifford reviewed "The Unseen Universe or Physical Speculations on a Future State", an attempted reconciliation of science and religion, first published anonymously but later acknowledged to be by P.G Tait and B. Stewart.”. On page 87 of these Letters, Editors’ Note 6 to Letter 338, To his Mother, [5 December 1874], refers to RLS’s mention of Clifford as one of the people he had met that evening while dining at ‘the {Savile} Club'. The Note reads: “William Kingdom Clifford (1845-79), mathematician and metaphysician of brilliant promise. In ‘Memoirs of Himself’ RLS refers to his ‘irresponsible boyishness of mind and manner’ and says that he was then in the ‘hot fit of the most noisy atheism’.”



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)