Ian Campbell, who has had access to a very large number of the relevant papers, has divided Carlyle's life into two definite parts-the Scottish years and the Chelsea years-and by mixing biography and literary criticism, has produced a full portrait of the man and his works. He traces Carlyle's development from the early years in Ecclefechan and then Edinburgh during its golden age of artistic and literary achievement, through his marriage to Jane and the writing of Sartor Resartus, to the year 1834 when they settled in London. The Chelsea years saw the emergence of Carlyle's massive works on the French Revolution, Cromwell and Frederick the Great, the publication of each involving a crisis in the Carlyles' strange domestic life. 1866 marked a high point, when he returned to Scotland in triumph as Lord Rector of Edinburgh University. Everything subsequent was tragic: Jane's death, the drying-up of the historical muse, the withdrawal from public life. Yet, this was the period of private friendships with the most meteoric literary figures in an amazing age. Thomas Carlyle died in 1881, at the age of eighty-six, renowned as a historian and known throughout the intellectual world as 'the Sage of Chelsea'. Ian Campbell was born in Lausanne and educated there and in Scottish schools, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities. He retired in 2009 as Professor of Scottish and Victorian Literature at Edinburgh where he had spent his teaching life, with spells in Canada, USA, Japan and Europe. As one of the senior editors of the Duke-Edinburgh edition of the Carlyle Letters he has written much on both Carlyles, on Scottish literature of every genre since Burns, and on Victorian literature generally. He is President of the Carlyle Society, and remains an Emeritus Professor at Edinburgh. "Thomas Carlyle" is a revised and updated edition of the biography originally published in London in 1974 by Hamish Hamilton, and republished in 1993 by the Saltire Society in Edinburgh.
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