Thomas & Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage

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9780712666343: Thomas & Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage

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 of everything from turmoil with dust to Dickens at a party. Yet despite everything, Jane suffered as Thomas grew infatuated with the lion-hunting Lady Ashburton, and the tensions in their own marriage made them sensitive to contemporary debates about the position of women, divorce, legitamacy, and prostitution. This joint biography describes their relationship with each other, from their first meeting in 1821 to Jane's death in 1866, and their relationship with the outside world.

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From the Publisher:

They were the most remarkable couple in London: the great sage Thomas Carlyle, with his vehement prophecies, and his witty, sardonic wife Jane. It was a strong, admiring, yet often mutually antagonistic partnership, fascinating to all who observed it. The Carlyles were outsiders, a largely self–educated Scottish pair who took a caustic view of the society they so influenced—Thomas through his copious writings on history and society, and both through their network of admirers: Emerson, Dickens, and George Eliot among them. Here, blending rigorous scholarship, warm sensitivity, and lively wit, Rosemary Ashton creates not only a portrait of a marriage but a picture of an entire age.

Rosemary Ashton is the author of George Eliot: A Life, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Prize.

From the Inside Flap:

A stunning new joint biography from the acclaimed author of George Eliot.

The Carlyles lived at the heart of English life in mid-Victorian London, but both were outsiders, a Scottish pair who looked caustically at the society they so influenced -- Carlyle through his copious writings, and both through their network of acquaintances and correspondents. This is not only a portrait of a marriage but a picture of an age. It is elegant, erudite and entertaining.

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