Katharine Clifton
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Katharine Clifton

The English Patient

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About Her

Grew Up… on the south coast of England in an affluent family. When she was only three, Katharine met her future husband, Geoffrey, the son of family friends.

Living… in a world of boundaries drawn on maps with names of powerful men. These are constricted times for any woman, but especially the free-spirited Katharine. She is in North Africa, accompanying her husband and a group of mapmakers as they explore the Sahara. The world is on the verge of war, and Katharine finds herself in what is to be one of the war’s major theaters. The growing international tension is beginning to manifest itself on a personal level for Katharine. 

Profession… amateur explorer and mapmaker. Her husband, Geoffrey, is an aviator and has been commissioned by the British government to make maps of Egypt. The Cliftons are wealthy and can afford to fund the Royal Geographical Society’s archeological and surveying expeditions in Egypt and Libya.

Interests… drawing and painting. Once she and the team of archaeologists she’s with discover the cave of swimmers – a cave of prehistoric paintings – she paints her own copies of the characters to have her own personal record of what she saw there. 

Relationship Status… torn between her husband and another man on the expedition. According to her husband Geoffrey, she was always crying on his shoulder about some other boy; he just convinced her to settle for his shoulder. Katharine possesses a great deal of passion and the tension of looming war adds to her fiery nature. After meeting Lázló Almásy who is leading the trip, a flame is lit within her. She is at first intrigued by his reticence and charm. And after being stuck together in a life-threatening sandstorm, the two form a mutual attraction. 

Challenge… walking on an earth without maps. In a time when lines of ownership are being drawn and fought for, Katharine more than ever wants to experience the world as she has always seen it: without frontiers.

Personality… astute, perceptive, cultured, forthright, and strong-willed. She knows how to tell a story and how to have fun. Katharine is led by her passions and is very adventurous. 

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