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Thomas & Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage
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Thomas & Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  10 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
The Carlyles lived at the heart of English life in mid-Victorian London, but both were outsiders. A largely self-educated pair from Scotland, they often took a caustic look at the society they so influenced—Thomas through his writings and both through their network of acquaintences and correspondents. Thomas would write about matters of the day, while Jane would tell tales ...more
Hardcover, 488 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Random House UK
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Buck
Mar 20, 2011 Buck rated it really liked it
Shelves: life-writing
Samuel Butler got off one of the great lines of the nineteenth century when he said of the Carlyles, “It was very good of God to let Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable instead of four.” But isn’t that a good definition of marriage in general: a legally-sanctioned concentration of misery? I kid, I kid. Settle down.

Personally, I’ve never had much luck with Thomas Carlyle. That lumbering bombast, those prophetic poses – ugh. And let’s not even get into his
...more
Margaret
As I expected from Ashton (having read her biographies of George Eliot and G.H. Lewes), this is an excellent biography, thorough and well-researched. The Carlyles had a famously unhappy marriage, and Ashton is sympathetic to both of them, yet objective, never taking sides; she understands Carlyle's tortured genius and neglect of his wife as well as Jane's self-pity and repressed talents and astutely shows how their difficult personalities interacted with each other as well as with their friends ...more
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Rosemary Ashton is Emeritus Quain Professor of English Language and Literature and an Honorary Fellow of UCL.
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