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Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was born in Ecclefechan, the son of a stonemason. In 1809 he entered the Arts Faculty at Edinburgh University, graduating with a distinction in mathematics. His religious doubts would not let him accept the Ministerial path his parents had hoped for, and he left his studies to work as a teacher. Prone to insomnia and depression, he underwent something of a spiritual crisis during these early years, a crisis later recounted in Sartor Resartus. He married in 1826, and his intelligent and independent-minded wife, Jane, was to prove invaluable to this difficult and sometimes tormented man - her own letters are rightly famous. They settled in London from 1834 until both their deaths: Jane's, coming fifteen years before Carlyle's, was extremely painful for him.