Rare 1890s Limited Fine Binding Leather 26 Volumes Thomas Carlyle Illustrated For Sale
RARE 1890S LIMITED FINE BINDING LEATHER 26 VOLUMES THOMAS CARLYLE ILLUSTRATED
ON sale HERE is a remarkable 26 volume complete fine binding leatherbound set, The Complete Works of Thomas Carlyle, as published by Colonial Press Co., New York. Gorgeous 3/4 red Morocco leather with marbled boards, 5 raised bands, fine gilt hand tooling, 8x5 inches, almost 500 pages each, illustrated with full page prints. With Edition DeLuxe at the bottom of the spines in gilt. We note that some volumes credit a different publisher, The Elzevir Society. With a limitation statement indicating only 100 copies were printed, this being number 30. Great condition. Very mild edge wear. One volume has a repaired chip at the top of the spine. Neither imprint includes a date, but we would estimate 1890s to 1900s. We do NOT recommend this set if you want these books shipped out of the country, as they are very heavy and the cost would be prohibitive.
From the family of the Southern writer Thomas Nelson Page.
Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) 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.
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 (1837). Dickens used Carlyle's work as a primary source for the events of the French Revolution in his novel A Tale of Two Cities.
In London, Carlyle wrote The French Revolution: A History (3 volumes, 1837), as a historical study concerning oppression of the poor, which was immediately successful. That was the start of many other writings in London.
By 1821, Carlyle abandoned the clergy as a career and focused on making a life as a writer. His first attempt at fiction was "Cruthers and Jonson", one of several abortive attempts at writing a novel. Following his work on a translation of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, he came to distrust the form of the realistic novel and so worked on developing a new form of fiction. In addition to his essays on German literature, he branched out into wider ranging commentary on modern culture in his influential essays Signs of the Times and
His first major work, Sartor Resartus ("The Tailor Retailored") was begun in 1831 at his home (provided for him by his wife Jane Welsh, from her estate), Craigenputtock, and was intended to be a new kind of book: simultaneously factual and fictional, serious and satirical, speculative and historical. It ironically commented on its own formal structure, while forcing the reader to confront the problem of where 'truth' is to be found. Sartor Resartus was first serialized in Fraser's Magazine from 1833 to 1834.
In 1834, Carlyle moved to London from Craigenputtock and began to move among celebrated company. Within the United Kingdom, Carlyle's success was assured by the publication of his three-volume work The French Revolution: A History in 1837. After the completed manuscript of the first volume was accidentally burned by the philosopher John Stuart Mill's maid, Carlyle wrote the second and third volumes before rewriting the first from scratch.
The resulting work had a passion new to historical writing. In a politically charged Europe, filled with fears and hopes of revolution, Carlyle's account of the motivations and urges that inspired the events in France seemed powerfully relevant. Carlyle's style of historical writing stressed the immediacy of action – often using the present tense.
For Carlyle, chaotic events demanded what he called 'heroes' to take control over the competing forces erupting within society. While not denying the importance of economic and practical explanations for events, he saw these forces as 'spiritual' – the hopes and aspirations of people that took the form of ideas, and were often ossified into ideologies ("formulas" or "isms", as he called them). In Carlyle's view, only dynamic individuals could master events and direct these spiritual energies effectively: as soon as ideological 'formulas' replaced heroic human action, society became dehumanised.
Charles Dickens used Carlyle's work as a primary source for the events of the French Revolution in his novel A
These ideas were influential on the development of Socialism, but – like the opinions of many deep thinkers of the time – are also considered to have influenced the rise of Fascism. Carlyle moved towards his later thinking during the 1840s, leading to a break with many old friends and allies, such as Mill and, to a lesser extent, Emerson. His belief in the importance of heroic leadership found form in his book On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, in which he compared a wide range of different types of heroes, including Odin, Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, William Shakespeare, Dante, Samuel Johnson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Burns, John Knox, Martin Luther and the Prophet Muhammad. These lectures of Carlyle's are regarded as an early and powerful formulation of the Great Man theory.
The book was based on a course of lectures he had given. The French Revolution had brought Carlyle fame, but little money. His friends worked to set him on his feet by organizing courses of public lectures for him, drumming up an audience and selling guinea tickets. Carlyle did not like lecturing, but found that he could do it, and more importantly that it brought in some much-needed money. Between 1837 and 1840, Carlyle delivered four such courses of lectures. The final course was on "Heroes." From the notes he had prepared for this course, he wrote out his book, reproducing the curious effects of the spoken discourses.
The Hero as Man of Letters (Quotes):
"In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream."
"A man lives by believing something; not by debating and arguing about many things."
"All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books."
"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."
"The suffering man ought really to consume his own smoke; there is no good in emitting smoke till you have made it into fire."
"Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity." (Often shortened to "can't stand prosperity" as an unknown quote.)
"Not what I have, but what I do, is my kingdom."
Carlyle was one of the very few philosophers who witnessed the industrial revolution but still kept a transcendental non-materialistic view of the world. The book included people ranging from the field of Religion through to literature and politics. He included people as coordinates and accorded Muhammad a special place in the book under the chapter title "Hero as a Prophet". In his work, Carlyle declared his admiration with a passionate championship of Muhammad as a Hegelian agent of reform, insisting on his sincerity and commenting 'how one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades.' For Carlyle, the hero was somewhat similar to Aristotle's "Magnanimous" man – a person who flourished in the fullest sense. However, for Carlyle, unlike Aristotle, the world was filled with contradictions with which the hero had to deal. All heroes will be flawed. Their heroism lay in their creative energy in the face of these difficulties, not in their moral perfection. To sneer at such a person for their failings is the philosophy of those who seek comfort in the conventional. Carlyle called this 'valetism', from the expression 'no man is a hero to his valet.
All these books were influential in their day, especially on writers such as Charles Dickens and John Ruskin. However, after the Revolutions of 1848 and political agitations in the United Kingdom, Carlyle published a collection of essays entitled "Latter-Day Pamphlets" (1850) in which he attacked democracy as an absurd social ideal, while equally condemning hereditary aristocratic leadership. Two of these essays, No. I: "The Present Times" and No. II: "Model Prisons" were reviewed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in April 1850.
Carlyle criticized hereditary aristocratic leadership as "deadening," however, he criticized democracy as nonsensical: as though objective truth could be discovered by weighing up the votes for it. Government should come from those most able to lead. But how such leaders were to be found, and how to follow their lead, was something Carlyle could not (or would not) clearly say. Marx and Engels agreed with Carlyle as far as his criticism of the hereditary aristocracy. However they criticized Carlyle's plan to use democracy to find the "Noblest" and the other "Nobles" that are to form the government by the "ablest" persons.
In later writings, Carlyle sought to examine instances of heroic leadership in history. The Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (1845) presented a positive image of Cromwell: someone who attempted to weld order from the conflicting forces of reform in his own day. Carlyle sought to make Cromwell's words live in their own terms by quoting him directly, and then commenting on the significance of these words in the troubled context of the time. Again this was intended to make the 'past' 'present' to his readers.
His essay "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question" (1849) suggested that slavery should never have been abolished, or else replaced with serfdom. It had kept order, he argued, and forced work from people who would otherwise have been lazy and feckless. This – and Carlyle's support for the repressive measures of Governor Edward Eyre in Jamaica – further alienated him from his old liberal allies. Eyre had been accused of brutal lynchings while suppressing a rebellion. Carlyle set up a committee to defend Eyre, while Mill organised for his prosecution. Similar hard-line views were expressed in Shooting Niagara, and after?, written after the passing of the Electoral Reform Act of 1867 in which he "reaffirmed his belief in wise leadership (and wise followership), his disbelief in democracy and his hatred of all workmanship - from brickmaking to diplomacy - that was not genuine".
Frederick the Great
His last major work was the epic life of Frederick the Great (1858–1865). In this Carlyle tried to show how a heroic leader can forge a state, and help create a new moral culture for a nation. For Carlyle, Frederick epitomized the transition from the liberal Enlightenment ideals of the eighteenth century to a new modern culture of spiritual dynamism: embodied by Germany, its thought and its polity. The book is most famous for its vivid, arguably very biased, portrayal of Frederick's battles, in which Carlyle communicated his vision of almost overwhelming chaos mastered by leadership of genius.
Carlyle called the work his "Thirteen Years War" with Frederick. In 1852, he made his first trip to Germany to gather material, visiting the scenes of Frederick's battles and noting their topography. He made another trip to Germany to study battlefields in 1858. The work comprised six volumes; the first two volumes appeared in 1858, the third in 1862, the fourth in 1864 and the last two in 1865. Emerson considered it "Infinitely the wittiest book that was ever written." James Russell Lowell pointed out some faults, but wrote: "The figures of most historians seem like dolls stuffed with bran, whose whole substance runs out through any hole that criticism may tear in them; but Carlyle's are so real in comparison, that, if you prick them, they bleed." The work was studied as a textbook in the military academies of Germany.
The effort involved in the writing of the book took its toll on Carlyle, who became increasingly depressed, and subject to various probably psychosomatic ailments. Its mixed reception also contributed to Carlyle's decreased literary output.
Later writings were generally short essays, notably The Early Kings of Norway: Also an Essay on the Portraits of John Knox appeared in 1875, a series on early-medieval Norwegian warlords and an essay attempting to prove that the best-known portrait of John Knox did not depict the Scottish prelate. This was linked to Carlyle's long interest in historical portraiture, which had earlier fuelled his project to found a gallery of national portraits, fulfilled by the creation of the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery .
Carlyle had a number of would-be romances before he married Jane Welsh, important as a literary figure in her own right. The most notable were with Margaret Gordon, a pupil of his friend Edward Irving. Even after he met Jane, he became enamoured of Kitty Kirkpatrick, the daughter of a British officer and an Indian princess. William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals, suggests that feelings were mutual, but social circumstances made the marriage impossible, as Carlyle was then poor. Both Margaret and Kitty have been suggested as the original of "Blumine", Teufelsdröch's beloved, in Sartor Resartus.
Carlyle married Jane Welsh in 1826. He met Welsh through his friend and her tutor Edward Irving, with whom she came to have a mutual romantic (although not intimate) attraction. Welsh was the subject of Leigh Hunt's charming poem, Jenny Kissed Me.
Their marriage proved to be one of the most famous, well documented, and unhappy of literary unions. Over 9000 letters between Carlyle and his wife have been published showing the couple had an affection for one another marred by frequent and angry quarrels.
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 became increasingly alienated from his wife. Carlyle's biographer James Anthony Froude published (posthumously) his opinion that the marriage remained unconsummated.
Although she had been an invalid for some time, his wife's sudden death in 1866 was unexpected and greatly distressed Carlyle who was moved to write his highly self-critical "Reminiscences of Jane Welsh Carlyle", published posthumously.
After Jane Carlyle's death in the year 1866, Thomas Carlyle partly retired from active society. He was appointed rector of the University of Edinburgh. His last years were spent at 24 Cheyne Row (then numbered 5), Chelsea, London SW3 (which is now a National Trust property commemorating his life and works) but he always wished to return to Craigenputtock.
Upon Carlyle's death on 5 February 1881 in London interment in Westminster Abbey was offered but rejected due to his explicit wish to be buried beside his parents in Ecclefechan. His final words were, "So, this is death. Well!"
Carlyle would have preferred that no biography of him were written, but when he heard that his wishes would not be respected and that several people were only waiting for him to die before they published, he relented and began to supply his friend James Anthony Froude with many of his and his wife's papers. Carlyle's essay about his wife was included in Reminiscences, published shortly after his death by Froude, who also published the Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle annotated by Carlyle himself. Froude's Life of Carlyle was published over 1882–84. The frankness of this book was unheard of by the usually respectful standards of 19th-century biographies of the period. Froude's work was attacked by Carlyle's family, especially his nephew, Alexander Carlyle and his niece, Margaret Aitken Carlyle. However, the biography in question was consistent with Carlyle's own conviction that the flaws of heroes should be openly discussed, without diminishing their achievements. Froude, who had been designated by Carlyle himself as his biographer-to-be, was acutely aware of this belief. Froude's defence of his decision, My Relations With Carlyle was published posthumously in 1903, including a reprint of Carlyle's 1873 will, in which Carlyle equivocated: "Express biography of me I had really rather that there should be none." Nevertheless, Carlyle in the will simultaneously and completely deferred to Froude's judgement on the matter, whose "decision is to be taken as mine."
(1829) Signs of the Times The Victorian Web
(1831) Sartor Resartus Project Gutenberg
(1837) The French Revolution: A History Project Gutenberg
(1840) Chartism Google Books
(1841) On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History Project Gutenberg
(1843) Past and Present Project Gutenberg
(1845) Oliver Cromwell's letters and speeches, with elucidations, ed. Thomas Carlyle, 3 vol. (1845, often reprinted). online version another online version
(1849) "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question", Fraser's Magazine (anonymous), Online text
(1850) Latter-Day Pamphlets Project Gutenberg
(1851) The Life Of John Sterling Project Gutenberg
(1858) History of Friedrich II of Prussia Index to Project Gutenberg texts
(1867) Shooting Niagara: and After Online Text
(1875) The Early kings of Norway Project Gutenberg
(1882) Reminiscences of my Irish Journey in 1849 Online text
There are several published "Collected Works" of Carlyle:
Unauthorized lifetime editions:
"Thomas' Carlyle's Ausgewählte Schriften", 1855–56, Leipzig. Translations by A. Kretzschmar. Abandoned after 6 vols.
Authorised lifetime editions:
Uniform edition, Chapman and Hall, 16 vols, 1857-58.
Library edition, Chapman and Hall, 34 vols (30 vols 1869-71, 3 additional vols added 1871 and one more 1875). The most lavish lifetime edition, it sold for 6 to 9 shillings per volume (or £15 the set)
People's edition, Chapman and Hall, 39 vols (37 vols 1871-74, with 2 extra volumes added in 1874 and 1878). Carlyle insisted the price be kept to 2 shillings per volume.
Cabinet edition, Chapman and Hall, 37 vols in 18, 1874 (printed form the plates of the People's Edition)
Centennial edition, Chapman and Hall, 30 vol, 1896-99 (with reprints to at least 1907). Introductions by Henry Duff Traill. The text is based on the People's edition, and it is used by many scholars as the standard edition of Caryle's works.
Norman and Charlotte Strouse edition (originally the California Carlyle edition), University of California Press, 1993-2006. Only 4 volumes were issued: "On Heroes" (1993), "Sartor Resartus" (2000), "Historical Essays" (2003) and "Past and Present" (2006). Despite being incomplete, it is the only critical edition of (some of) Carlyle's works.
Carlyle had quite a few unusual definitions at hand, which were collected by the Nuttall Encyclopedia. Some include:
Centre of Immensities
an expression of Carlyle's to signify that wherever any one is, he is in touch with the whole universe of being, and is, if he knew it, as near the heart of it there as anywhere else he can be.
A mania or frantic zeal for freedom.
Carlyle's name for a man who prides himself on, and pays all respect to, respectability. It is derived from a definition once given in a court of justice by a witness who, having described a person as respectable, was asked by the judge in the case what he meant by the word; "one that keeps a gig," was the answer. Carlyle also refers to "gigmanity" at large.
an expression of Carlyle's in definition of Christianity "at its rise and spread" as sacred, and kindling what was sacred and divine in man's soul, and burning up all that was not.
Mights And Rights
the Carlyle doctrine that Rights are nothing till they have realised and established themselves as Mights; they are rights first only then.
the name given by Carlyle in his Latter-Day Pamphlets, in the one on Jesuitism, to the widespread philosophy of the time, which regarded the human being as a mere creature of appetite instead of a creature of God endowed with a soul, as having no nobler idea of well-being than the gratification of desire – that his only Heaven, and the reverse of it his Hell.
Plugston of Undershot
Carlyle's name for a "captain of industry" or member of the manufacturing class.
defined by Carlyle as "the youngest born of Eternity, child and heir of all the past times, with their good and evil, and parent of all the future with new questions and significance," on the right or wrong understanding of which depend the issues of life or death to us all, the sphinx riddle given to all of us to rede as we would live and not die.
(the stealing of the princes), name given to an attempt, to satisfy a private grudge of his, on the part of Kunz von Kaufungen to carry off, on the night of 7 July 1455, two Saxon princes from the castle of Altenburg, in which he was defeated by apprehension at the hands of a collier named Schmidt, through whom he was handed over to justice and beheaded. See Carlyle's account of this in his "Miscellanies."
Carlyle's satirical name for the literature of France prior to the Revolution.
Progress of the Species Magazines
Carlyle's name for the literature of the day which does nothing to help the progress in question, but keeps idly boasting of the fact, taking all the credit to itself, like French Poet Jean de La Fontaine's fly on the axle of the careening chariot soliloquising, "What a dust I raise!"
(i. e. leaven), an imaginary authority alive to the "celestial infernal" fermentation that goes on in the world, who has an eye specially to the evil elements at work, and to whose opinion Carlyle frequently appeals in his condemnatory verdict on sublunary things.
The Conflux of Eternities
Carlyle's expressive phrase for time, as in every moment of it a centre in which all the forces to and from eternity meet and unite, so that by no past and no future can we be brought nearer to Eternity than where we at any moment of Time are; the Present Time, the youngest born of Eternity, being the child and heir of all the Past times with their good and evil, and the parent of all the Future. By the import of which (see Matt. xvi. 27), it is accordingly the first and most sacred duty of every successive age, and especially the leaders of it, to know and lay to heart as the only link by which Eternity lays hold of it, and it of Eternity.
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