Guide to Carlyle - Vol. 1

Guide to Carlyle - Vol. 1

Guide to Carlyle - Vol. 1

Guide to Carlyle - Vol. 1

Excerpt

This book is written primarily for the student, though in the hope that its appeal will extend to the general reader. It was first undertaken as a critical study; and the inclusion of methodical analyses of all Carlyle's works was a later development. The object of these is to disentangle the main idea; for Carlyle is foremost among those writers who are not to be conquered by a single reading; and the stranger, on his first entry into such a thickly populated area, is apt to succumb to feelings of confusion and discouragement. It is hoped that the analyses will help to moderate feelings of this kind, by providing those who are rather dazed by a first experience with a ready means of reconstructing the orderly evolution of thought or narrative.

The biographical chapters have been added for the sake of completeness, that the reader may possess, within the compass of a single work, a compendium of all facts worthy of note relating to Carlyle's life and books. They have been compiled from the Reminiscences, and the Letters published at intervals of years down to August 1914, and from the work of Froude, though the latter has been used as sparingly as possible.

Writing for a new generation, largely unacquainted with Froude, I had hoped to make the biography non-controversial. I thought it might be assumed that the battle was over and Froude finally defeated, and that a new start might therefore be made in the treatment of Carlyle's life, as if Froude had never given his theories to the world. If this has proved to be impossible, I at least hope that controversy has been reduced to a minimum,

A. R.

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