What does Thomas Carlyle mean?

Definitions for Thomas Carlyle
thomas car·lyle

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Thomas Carlyle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Carlyle, Thomas Carlylenoun

    Scottish historian who wrote about the French Revolution (1795-1881)


  1. Thomas Carlyle

    Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, historian, and philosopher. A leading writer of the Victorian era, he exerted a profound influence on 19th-century art, literature, and philosophy. Born in Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, Carlyle attended the University of Edinburgh where he excelled in mathematics, inventing the Carlyle circle. After finishing the arts course, he prepared to become a minister in the Burgher Church while working as a schoolmaster. He quit these and several other endeavours before settling on literature, writing for the Edinburgh Encyclopædia and working as a translator. He found initial success as a disseminator of German literature, then little-known to English readers, through his translations, his Life of Friedrich Schiller (1825), and his review essays for various journals. His first major work was a novel entitled Sartor Resartus (1833–34). After relocating to London, he became famous with his French Revolution (1837), which prompted the collection and reissue of his essays as Miscellanies. Each of his subsequent works, from On Heroes (1841) to History of Frederick the Great (1858–65) and beyond, were highly regarded throughout Europe and North America. He founded the London Library, contributed significantly to the creation of the National Portrait Galleries in London and Scotland, was elected Lord Rector of Edinburgh University in 1865, and received the Pour le Mérite in 1874, among other honours. Carlyle's corpus spans the genres of "criticism, biography, history, politics, poetry, and religion." His innovative writing style, known as Carlylese, greatly influenced Victorian literature and anticipated techniques of postmodern literature. While not adhering to any formal religion, he asserted the importance of belief and developed his own philosophy of religion. He preached "Natural Supernaturalism", the idea that all things are "Clothes" which at once reveal and conceal the divine, that "a mystic bond of brotherhood makes all men one", and that duty, work and silence are essential. He postulated the Great Man theory, a philosophy of history which contends that history is shaped by exceptional individuals. He viewed history as a "Prophetic Manuscript" that progresses on a cyclical basis, analogous to the phoenix and the seasons. Raising the "Condition-of-England Question" to address the impact of the Industrial Revolution, his political philosophy is characterised by medievalism, advocating a "Chivalry of Labour" led by "Captains of Industry". He attacked utilitarianism as mere atheism and egoism, criticised the political economy of laissez-faire as the "Dismal Science", and rebuked "big black Democracy", while championing "Heroarchy (Government of Heroes)". Carlyle occupied a central position in Victorian culture, being considered not only, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the "undoubted head of English letters", but a secular prophet. Posthumously, his reputation suffered as publications by his friend and disciple James Anthony Froude provoked controversy about Carlyle's personal life, particularly his marriage to Jane Welsh Carlyle. His reputation further declined in the 20th century, as the onsets of World War I and World War II brought forth accusations that he was a progenitor of both Prussianism and fascism. Since the 1950s, extensive scholarship in the field of Carlyle Studies has improved his standing, and he is now recognised as "one of the enduring monuments of our literature who, quite simply, cannot be spared."


  1. thomas carlyle

    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was a prominent Scottish historian, philosopher, essayist, and teacher during the Victorian era. Renowned for writings such as "Sartor Resartus" and "The French Revolution," his work combined historical and philosophical thoughts. Carlyle's writings and teachings, known for their challenging style and satirical wit, significantly influenced social and cultural thought during his time. He was increasingly popular in his lifetime and continued to be influential long after his death.


  1. Thomas Carlyle

    Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. He called economics "the dismal science", wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and became a controversial social commentator. Coming from a strict Calvinist family, Carlyle was expected to become a preacher by his parents, but while at the University of Edinburgh he lost his Christian faith. Calvinist values, however, remained with him throughout his life. His combination of a religious temperament with loss of faith in traditional Christianity, made Carlyle's work appealing to many Victorians who were grappling with scientific and political changes that threatened the traditional social order. He brought a trenchant style to his social and political criticism and a complex literary style to works such as The French Revolution: A History. Dickens used Carlyle's work as a primary source for the events of the French Revolution in his novel A Tale of Two Cities.

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    Read the full text of the Thomas Carlyle poem by Dorothy Parker on the Poetry.com website.

Biographical Dictionary of Freethinkers

  1. Thomas Carlyle

    One of the most gifted and original writers of the century, born 4 Dec. 1795, at Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, where his father, a man of intellect and piety, held a small farm. Showing early ability he was intended for the Kirk, and educated at the University of Edinburgh. He, however, became a tutor, and occupied his leisure in translating from the German. He married Jane Welsh 17 Oct. 1826, and wrote in the London Magazine and Edinburgh Review many masterly critical articles, notably on Voltaire, Diderot, Burns, and German literature. In 1833–4 his Sartor Resartus appeared in Fraser’s Magazine. In ’34 he removed to London and began writing the French Revolution, the MS. of the first vol. of which he confided to Mill, with whom it was accidentally burnt. He re-wrote the work without complaint, and it was published in ’37. He then delivered a course of lectures on “German Literature” and on “Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History,” in which he treats Mahomet as the prophet “we are freest to speak of.” His Past and Present was published in ’43. In ’45 appeared Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches. In ’50 he published Latter-Day Pamphlets, which contains his most distinctive political and social doctrines, and in the following year his Life of John Sterling, in which his heresy clearly appears. His largest work is his History of the Life and Times of Frederick the Great, in 10 vols. He was elected rector of Edinburgh University in ’65. Died 5 Feb. 1881. Mr. Froude, in his Biography of Carlyle, says, “We have seen him confessing to Irving that he did not believe as his friend did in the Christian religion.” ... “the special miraculous occurrences of sacred history were not credible to him.”

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Thomas Carlyle in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Thomas Carlyle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8


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    a signal that temporarily stops the execution of a program so that another procedure can be carried out
    A jeopardize
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