Jane Welsh Carlyle
was the wife of essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...
ist Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish 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...
and has been cited as the reason for his fame and fortune. She was most notable as a letter-writer. In 1973, G.B. Tennyson described her as
She had been introduced to Carlyle by her tutor Edward Irving
*For Edward Irving, the Canadian geologist, see Edward A. Irving.Edward Irving was a Scottish clergyman, generally regarded as the main figure behind the foundation of the Catholic Apostolic Church.-Youth:...
, with whom she came to have a mutual romantic (although not sexually intimate) attraction.
The couple married in 1826, but the marriage was at times unhappy. Their voluminous correspondence has been published, and the letters show that the couple had an affection for one another that was marred by frequent quarrels. Samuel Butler
Samuel Butler may refer to:*Samuel Butler , author of Hudibras*Samuel Butler , classical scholar, schoolmaster at Shrewsbury, Bishop of Lichfield...
once wrote: "It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable and not four"
. Carlyle's biographer James Anthony Froude
James Anthony Froude , 23 April 1818–20 October 1894, was an English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor of Fraser's Magazine. From his upbringing amidst the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement, Froude intended to become a clergyman, but doubts about the doctrines of the Anglican church,...
published (posthumously) his opinion that the marriage remained unconsummated.
The Scottish philosopher David George Ritchie
David George Ritchie was a Scottish philosopher who had a distinguished university career at Edinburgh, and Balliol College, Oxford, and after being fellow of Jesus and tutor of Balliol was elected professor of logic and metaphysics at St Andrews...
, a friend of the Carlyle family, published a volume of her letters in 1889 under the title The Early Letters of Jane Welsh Carlyle.
Thomas published his highly self-critical "Reminiscences of Jane Welsh Carlyle" out of guilt after he read her diary posthumously.