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Thomas & Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage Hardcover – 1 Feb 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (1 Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701167092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701167097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,212,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon Review

Devotees of the film Iris wishing to find a Victorian equivalent of a famous literary couple could do worse than turn to Rosemary Ashton's Thomas and Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage. Like many famous Victorian men--Sir John Franklin, John Stuart Mill, Lord Palmerston all spring to mind--Thomas Carlyle would not have been quite the star he became without the considerable contribution of his partner. She was his intellectual muse and confidante, the centre-piece of the literary salon that was their home in Chelsea, and a magnet to a range of exotic and distinguished visitors, such as Charles Dickens, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Edward Irving. Was she more than a priceless adornment? Rosemary Ashton, who has few rivals as a biographer of the mid-Victorian literary intelligentsia, argues that Jane Carlyle's letters and journals add up to almost as important a contribution to Victorian literature as the essays and histories of her husband. She was certainly wittier and more comprehensible as many of the extracts suggest, although quite why she wrote in private and he in public is an intriguing question worth pondering more. For all their literary and social success, however, the Carlyles themselves had a difficult relationship, one which the author pursues with tact and sensibility. Before they met, Thomas Carlyle was unknown, after Jane died, Thomas lived for 15 more years, but wrote little of note. This scholarly and thorough double biography shows how what happened in between was achieved because of and not in spite of their marriage. --Miles Taylor


"Marvellous... Bravo for the best biographical study I have read in years." -- A.N. Wilson, "Daily Mail "No previous writer has brought this famously awful marriage into such sharp relief." -- "Sunday Times "From the Trade Paperback edition.

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 August 2010
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
11 Comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 January 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Most helpful customer reviews on 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
7 people found this helpful.
4.0 out of 5 starsAn unappealing portrait of the Sage of Chelsea
on 17 August 2010 - Published on
Format: Paperback
6 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsan excellent biography of a famously unhappy couple
on 7 June 2007 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
2 people found this helpful.
4.0 out of 5 starsJane's talents were confined to writing wonderful letters and managing to run a household on not ...
on 3 June 2015 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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