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CARLYLE, THOMAS - “Here is my ‘autograph’…and much good may it do him”
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CARLYLE, THOMAS - “Here is my ‘autograph’…and much good may it do him”

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CARLYLE, THOMAS. (1795-1881). Influential British essayist, historian and philosopher. ANS. (“T. Carlyle”). 1p. Oblong 12mo. London, June 14, 1860. To Charles Edward Bennett.


“Here is my ‘autograph’ for behoof of Master Charles Edward Bennett, Dayton, Ohio; and much good may it do him. T. Carlyle Chelsea, London 14 June 1860.”


After short-lived careers as a teacher and a clergyman, the Scottish-born Carlyle found his calling as a writer. Beginning his career in rural Scotland, in 1835 he moved to No. 5 Cheyne Row in London’s Chelsea neighborhood, whence he dispatched our autograph. His work includes the influential novel Sartor Resartus; three-volume The French Revolution: A History; On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History; and his multi-volume biography of King Frederick the Great published in 1858.These works earned him great renown and influenced contemporaries like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Dickens and John Ruskin.


“In the history of English literature, few figures have risen to such commanding heights and fallen to such neglect in the space of a century as the Victorian social critic, historian, essayist, and ‘prophet’ Thomas Carlyle… In his own period he exerted a profound influence on a vast range of major figures, including politicians, theologians, scientists, economists, feminists, aesthetes, artists, novelists, poets, dramatists, historians, architects, and radicals and revolutionaries of every stamp… His signal contribution to Victorian culture was his deep realization of the moral and spiritual cost of industrialization, which had mechanized every area of life and transformed individuals into passive units of production and consumption. No other writer in the 19th century, not even Karl Marx, understood the personal and the political repercussions of this change with such luminous insight as Carlyle,” (“Thomas Carlyle,” Oxford Bibliographies, Sorensen and Kinsler).


In addition to his many essays and works of fiction and non-fiction, Carlyle, known for his cantankerous nature, was an enthusiastic correspondent, penning thousands of letters (now published) to his wife that record in great detail the unhappiness of their union. Of their marriage, marked by frequent quarrels, Samuel Butler wrote, “It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable and not four,”(quoted in Letters Between Samuel Butler and E.M.A. Savage 1871–1885, ed. Cape).


Written on a gently folded sheet and in very fine condition.



Item #13073

This autograph will be auctioned live on May 23, 2018. For more information and to place your bid click the "BID NOW!" button above.
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