Thomas Carlyle: History of the French Revolution

(1352 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

In 1834, John Stuart Mill found himself too busy to write the history of the French Revolution promised to his publisher and he passed it over to a 40-year-old Scot, whom he currently idolised as a writer of potentially great significance. Thomas Carlyle accepted the commission for two main reasons: he had just moved down to London, hoping to start writing books rather than essays, and, having written recent articles on Voltaire and Diderot, he had already begun to study the Revolution. For two long years Carlyle slaved over the process of composition, frequently walking to the British Library (an 8-mile round trip) to read pamphlets and newspaper reports. Mill lent him mountains of books, offered advice, read through manuscripts and, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Uglow, Nathan. "History of the French Revolution". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]