Thomas Carlyle, the eldest of 10 children, was born in the village of Ecclefechan, just north of the Scottish-English border. His father was a model of uncomplaining dedication to practical work, distrustful of both mental and verbal intelligence; his mother, an unquestioning devotee of the local Burgher Secession Church, would only learn to read and write in order to correspond with her son. But the close-knit and supportive family respected early signs of their son's intellectual promise and, aged 15, he was enrolled at Edinburgh University as the first step to becoming a minister in the Church of Scotland. With characteristic determination, Carlyle reduced the costs of this venture by making the 100-mile journey to Edinburgh on foot, …
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Uglow, Nathan. "Thomas Carlyle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=745, accessed 19 June 2018.]