Thomas Carlyle

1795 (Ecclefechan, Scotland) – 1881 (London)

Carlyle, fluent in German, wrote about and corresponded with Goethe. Emerson, an early fan, visited him in his remote farmhouse and corresponded for decades. Leigh Hunt, who became a good friend, suggested he move to unfashionable Chelsea, where Tennyson, Ruskin and Darwin visited (though Carlyle later spoke out against Darwinism). Butler (most likely) thanked God for Carlyle’s mismatched marriage “thus making two people unhappy rather than four.” Chopin visited for an hour, telling the Carlyles their piano was out of tune. Dickens, a close friend, drew on Carlyle’s book on the French Revolution for ‘A Tale of Two Cities.’