William Clift’s correspondence with Elizabeth

While I was preparing for my presentation and working on my paper, I though it would be a good idea to tell a few things about William Clift’s correspondence with his eldest sister Elizabeth. In 1792, William arrived in London with the initial intention to became the new assistent of the famous British surgeon John Hunter (Austen, 1991, p. 6). His duties were to draw illustrations during Hunter’s dissections of dead humans and animals, and to copy John Hunter’s various texts and letters.william clift, drawing

From the beginning of his introduction into the Hunter family, William wrote many letters to his brothers and sisters. I was particularly interested in his written correspondence with his sister eldest Elizabeth, because it is normally assumed that they had the strongest relationship (Austen, 1991). I looked at William’s letters written to his sister between 1792 and 1799 and I came to the conclusion that his language did gradually change due to his contact with people from other social classes. The rest of the details I will tell during my presentation.


Austen, Frances (1991). The Clift Family Correspondence 1792-1846. Sheffield: Centre For English Cultural Tradition & Language.

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