The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle: Volume 34: July–December 1858

An issue of: The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle

The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle
Journal Issue Volume 34, Number 1 Number: 34 Published: 2006 An issue of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle
The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle offer a window onto the lives of two of the Victorian world’s most accomplished, perceptive, and unusual inhabitants. Scottish writer and historian Thomas Carlyle and his wife, Jane Welsh Carlyle, attracted to them a circle of foreign exiles, radicals, feminists, revolutionaries, and major and minor writers from across Europe and the United States. The collection is regarded as one of the finest and most comprehensive literary archives of the nineteenth century.

Volume 34 of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle covers the second half of 1858. Not unusually, the Carlyles were apart, writing to, and obsessively demanding letters from, each other. In July, Thomas was on holiday at his brother-in-law’s farm the Gill, in Scotland, while Jane remained in Chelsea, training the new house-servant, Charlotte Southam. Jane soon trusted her implicitly and, given a new sense of freedom from the domestic responsibilities of Cheyne Row, began to make rather frequent day trips to Brighton, Portsmouth, and Alverstoke. On 21 August, Thomas set sail from Edinburgh for Germany to visit battlegrounds and other sites associated with the career of Frederick the Great, eager to finish the third volume of the biography. With Thomas on the continent, Jane visited Scotland and made the rounds of kith and kin until the end of September. This volume is a comedy of nervous travel adventure: a lost and found passport, a lost and found ring, the “greasy tepid cooking” and “praeternatural beds” of Germany, and the usual Carlyle physical and mental maladies. From a newly found cache of letters to the Wall Street broker Charles Butler, we find that Thomas, never one to miss an opportunity to lambaste the Americans and “Yankeedom,” in fact held significant investments in American railroads.

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Table of Contents Back to Top

1. Letters–July–December 1858

2. Introduction

3. Chronology

4. Letters to the Carlyles

5. Biographical Notes

6. Key to References

7. Acknowledgments

Additional InformationBack to Top
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