Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a British historian, satirical writer, essayist, translator, philosopher, mathematician, and teacher. In his book On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History (1841), he argued that the actions of the "Great Man" play a key role in history, claiming that "the history of the world is but the biography of great men". Other major works include The French Revolution: A History, 3 vols (1837) and The History of Friedrich II of Prussia, Called Frederick the Great, 6 vols (1858–65).
|Died||5 February 1881 85) (aged|
(m. 1826; died 1866)
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
|Literary movement||Victorian literature|
His 1837 history of the French Revolution was the inspiration for Charles Dickens's 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities, and remains popular today. The influence on American literature of his 1836 Sartor Resartus, a novel both satirical and philosophical, has been described as "difficult to overstate".
A noted polemicist, Carlyle coined the term "the dismal science" for economics, in his essay "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question", which satirically advocated for the reintroduction of slavery to the West Indies to highlight his perceived hypocrisy of British abolitionists' indifference to domestic child-labour and slave-like working conditions in contemporary factories. He also wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia.