Biography of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

Thomas Carlyle

Essayist, historian and literary critic and social British. He/She was born in Ecclefecham (Dumfriesshire, Scotland) on December 4, 1795, and died in London on February 5, 1881. It belonged to a family of Calvinist virtues notable artisans. He/She studied at Grammar School in Annan and later at the University of Edinburgh. For a few years he/she was Professor of mathematics at Annan and Kirkcaldy, where he/she became friends with Edward Irving, Minister of the Church of Scotland and founder of the sect of the irvingitas. In 1818 he/she returned to Edinburgh to joining Irving and tried to devote himself to the study of law, earning a living with classes and minor literary activities. In 1826 he/she married Jane Baillie Welsh, woman of high intelligence and character strong, descendant of John Knox, who achieved fame as a epistolary writer. Marriage resided for some time at the farm of Craigenputtock, near Dumfries, where Carlyle could devote himself intensively to its formation. In 1834 they moved to London, where his simple home became famous coterie. His wife died in 1866 and began the decline of the writer, which did not cease until his death.

In his work, the first productions were on German literature: these include his essays on Fausto (1822), Shiller (1824) of life, and a few critical essays about J.P. Richter, Fichte, Goethe and Herder. His most characteristic work, Sartor Resartus, was not published as a book to America in 1836 and 1838 in England: consists of three books which develop a spiritual autobiography, with social and philosophical reflections. His first success was The French Revolution. History (1837), a reconstruction passionate a necessary moment of history, conceived this as the essence of innumerable biographies that will come out, illuminating them all, those of the hero. Reaffirming these ideas about the revolution and the heroes, in 1837, he/she gave a series of lectures on heroes and cult heroes, published in 1841, in which left part of his thinking, expressed through the biography of famous characters like Lutero, Shakespeare, Muhammad, Dante or Napoleon and that demonstrates the critical importance of these heroes in the history of mankind.

His voluminous and difficult work was the history of Federico II of Prussia (1858-65). His last work, reminiscences (1881), was published a few weeks after the his death by his friend, the historian James A. Froude.