Scottish Essayist Thomas Carlyle

With a membership slowly growing, it continues to meet six times (sometimes more) per year for papers with as their subjects both Carlyles, their times and their influence, and regularly a non-Carlyle meeting of related interest.

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Never a man to hold back his views, some of Carlyle's themes look decidedly odd, or worse, to modern eyes.

He was opposed to democracy and believed strongly in the concept of heroic leadership, with heroism defined more in terms of energy and activity than moral perfection.

The result was his 1841 book A few generations later, such ideas were to help underpin Fascism.

And in 1849 Carlyle produced an essay suggesting that slavery should not have been abolished: whose very title is deeply offensive to modern eyes.

Meanwhile he had become deeply immersed in German literature.

Scottish Essayist Thomas Carlyle

His was first published by the London Magazine in 18, and he contributed to a wide variety of journals and magazines.Carlyle's collected works (1974) comprises of 30 volumes.One of his most famous works is “On Heroes And Hero Worship”.As a 15 year old, Carlyle went to Edinburgh University, obtaining his degree in 1813.Carlyle's parents wanted him to enter the Church, but while at Edinburgh he abandoned his belief in Christianity: though not his Calvinist work-ethic nor his great respect for his parents.He became a full time writer in 1824 and went on to produce masterly translations of a number of the giants of German literature including Hoffman, Tieck and Goethe.In 1826 Thomas Carlyle married Jane Welsh, a highly intelligent lady from Haddington with an unrealised potential to pursue a literary career herself.He undertook the work when his friend, John Stuart Mill, found he was too committed on other projects to deliver on a contract he had signed with publishers and write it himself.Having completed the manuscript, Carlyle sent the only copy to Mill to read: whose maid then promptly burned it as kindling, apparently by mistake.Thomas Carlyle was a popular satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher from Scotland in the Victorian era, born in the village of Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire.Apart from being blessed with excellent thoughts, he was completely devoted towards his family.


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