Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Carlyle, Thomas. (1795 - 1881).

W o r k

- the most noisy and effective critic of early Victorian Britain

< influenced by German philosophy: wrote Life of Schiller (1824) and translated Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

- preoccupied with history: fears both the process of repetition x fracture of patterns and precedents

- argues for energy, earnestness, and duty x against "sham"

F i c t i o n :

Sartor Resartus (1832):

- the title: "The Tailor Retailored"

- a reflexive discourse moulded around a learned study of the philosophy of clothes

- contrasts a German central character x an English editor

- works through the process of amalgamation and assimilation: intermixes German and English, plays with meanings and translations from one language to another

- contrasts the destructive "Everlasting No" x the constructive "Everlasting Yea"

- conclusion: demands a submission to the will of God and an active commitment to work

N o n - f i c t i o n :

The French Revolution (1837):

- a history writing

- an amalgam of multiple interpreting and witnessing voices with a dominant didactic narrator

- warns Victorian England against civil disruption

Chartism (1839):

- an essay on the threat of class war posed by industrial workers

- defines "the Condition of England Question": the state of nation attempting to come to terms with its reforms aimed at deflecting revolution

On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History (1841):

- a series of lectures

- the "hero" = a challenger of convention and of sham and a reformer of the defunct

Past and Present (1843):

- juxtaposes the achievements of the past x the confusions of the present

- contrasts satiric wit x concluding visionary optimism

- even the world of machinery can be redeemed by human enterprise


(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Thomas Carlyle. (1795 - 1881). British (Scottish).
  • Work

    Prose writer. Critic. Author of Past and Present (1843).
  • Genres

    Victorian period. Fiction and non-fiction. Satire. History. 


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


"The English are a dumb people. They can do great acts, but not describe them."

From Past and Present (1843).


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