Thomas Carlyle: Hero-Worship and the Hero in History

(1863 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

In 1837, Jane Carlyle's friend Harriet Martineau (“the literary Lady who writes on Political Economy”) managed to find 200 people willing to listen to Thomas Carlyle lecturing on the subject of German Literature, and to pay a guinea each for the privilege. Since the Royal Institution had already been booked, the lectures were held in Willis' Rooms (just off St. James' Square) where, after much anxiety on Thomas's part, they proved to be both a literary and financial success. Three years later, in 1840, his now annual lecture series had already performed its function of seeing the Carlyles through the worst of their financial troubles, and in late February he was beginning to write up the subject that was to mark his final appearance …

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Uglow, Nathan. "Hero-Worship and the Hero in History". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]