The National Book Critics Circle Award-winning portrait of the Victorian writer and historian Thomas Carlyle. A Pulitzer finalist that draws upon years of research and unpublished letters, Thomas Carlyle examines the life of the Victorian genius. Carlyle was the author of Sartor Resartus and The French Revolution: A History, and he possessed one of literature's most flamboyant prose styles. Despite a childhood beset by anxiety and illness, Carlyle was indefatigable in his literary production. Fred Kaplan delves into the author's intense personal life, which includes his turbulent marriage to author Jane Baillie Welsh and his disillusionment with religion. Kaplan is a devoted and sensitive explicator, vividly resurrecting both Carlyle and his Victorian setting.
"Mr. Kaplan illuminates the Victorian era by bringing us into what we feel is the very presence of one of his idols." The New Yorker
"Fred Kaplan has performed a labor of love and a commendatory service. His Thomas Carlyle ... gives us our most complete picture of Carlyle in the context of his age.... An achievement of much merit and a gift to students of the world." Washington Post Book World
"[Carlyle] is alive and well (except for occasional stomach trouble), and living in Mr. Kaplan's biography." Times Literary Supplement
"The book is masterly. It will be the standard Life for our time." Times Higher Education Supplement