Thomas Carlyle

Literary Birthday – 4 December – Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle was born 4 December 1795, and died 5 February 1881.

Thomas Carlyle: 10 Literary Quotes

  1. 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.
  2. Writing is a dreadful labour, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.
  3. Let each become all that he was created capable of being.
  4. Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains.
  5. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.
  6. The best effect of any book is that it excites the reader to self-activity.
  7. A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
  8. In the true Literary Man there is thus ever, acknowledged or not by the world, a sacredness: he is the light of the world; the world’s Priest; — guiding it, like a sacred Pillar of Fire, in its dark pilgrimage through the waste of Time.
  9. Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.
  10. The greatest of all faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.

Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. He wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, and became a controversial social commentator. He was raised in a strict Calvinist family and expected to become a preacher. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, he lost his faith, but not his ethics. He became a leading moral force in Victorian literature. His best works include The French Revolution: A History (Modern Library Classics) and On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History.


Eliott & Fry, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 4th December 2012