Thomas Carlyle: Latter-day Pamphlets

(1968 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

In the last days of a decade that came to be known as “the hungry forties”, Carlyle surveyed the world around him and found little to admire. So many of the European revolutions of 1848 had petered out in futile wrangling about constitutional detail or in post revolutionary settlements that ended up simply replacing a do-nothing aristocracy with leave-it-alone economics. Personal leadership grounded in shared obligations and duties had ultimately come off second best to rationalistic bureaucratic forms of government grounded in constitutional and economic theory. Tragically, Carlyle had not had to look far from home for compelling evidence of what such professional government actually meant in practice. Throughout 1849 the Great …

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Uglow, Nathan. "Latter-day Pamphlets". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 March 2001
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]