About the Author - Thomas Carlyle

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, Call...

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).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. John Carey in "The truculent genius of Thomas Carlyle", a review in Books and Bookmen in 1983, says: "The standard view, which is that Carlyle was so poisonous it's a wonder his mind didn't infect his bloodstream." On Carlyle's attitude to slavery he adds: "Carlyle was a racist, with a rare talent for misreading historical trends." Likewise, Charles Darwin, in his autobiography, called his views of slavery "Revolting. In his eyes might was right." He also wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia.In mathematics, he is known for the Carlyle circle, a method used in quadratic equations and for developing ruler-and-compass constructions of regular polygons.

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