Thomas Carlyle, renowned nineteenth-century essayist and social critic, came to be thought of as a secular prophet by many of his readers and as the "undoubted head of English letters" by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Historical Essays brings together Carlyle's essays on history and historical subjects in a fully annotated modern edition for the first time. These essays, which were originally collected in Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, span Carlyle's career from 1830 to 1875 and represent a major facet of his writings. This edition uses all the extant authoritative versions of the essays to create an accurate critical text and includes a mine of lucidly presented information to enhance readers' understanding of Carlyle's densely allusive prose.
The collection includes essays on the French Revolution, Cromwell, Frederick the Great, and medieval Scandinavia. It also includes such essential pieces as "On History," "On History Again," "Count Cagliostro," and "The Diamond Necklace." Together the essays show Carlyle positioning himself in relation to the new Romantic historiography but not yet ready to adopt the strictures of modern scientific history. They also exhibit his talent for analyzing the historical significance of seemingly minor events. He describes a plot to steal a diamond necklace in which Marie Antoinette became implicated, a visit of Whig sympathizers to the National Assembly during the French Revolution, and the kidnapping of two fifteenth-century German princes, one of whose descendents was Carlyle’s contemporary Prince Albert.
This volume, the third of the eight-volume Strouse Edition of Carlyle’s works, includes a historical introduction and illustrations along with complete textual apparatus.
List of Illustrations
Chronology of Carlyle's Life
Note on the Text
On History Again
Count Cagliostro: In Two Flights
The Diamond Necklace
Memoirs of Mirabeau
Parliamentary History of the French Revolution
Baillie the Covenanter
An Election to the Long Parliament
Two Hundred and Fifty Years Ago
Early Kings of Norway
Appendix: 1858 Summaries
Emendations of the Copy-Text
Discussion of Editorial Decisions
Line-End Hyphens in the Present Text
Alterations in the Manuscripts
Chris R. Vanden Bossche is Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and author of Carlyle and the Search for Authority (1991).
We invite you to browse through the courses offered by the Department of History. Undergraduate majors in history can choose from among a wide range of history courses to fulfill their degree requirements. Graduate courses generally fall into two categories: colloquia (reading courses) and seminars (research courses).
The numerically predominant type of course in our graduate program is the readings course at the 600-level, often called a colloquium. Colloquia constitute the majority of the courses which a student completes, and it is in them that students develop the detailed understanding of the subject matter of their field. Colloquia are devoted to reading and critical discussion of the current secondary literature related to a specific topic, historical problem, or period and/or place in history. Students can expect to write bibliographical essays as the primary grading instrument. Another way to achieve the same aims as the colloquium is to do an individual directed reading (numbered at the 900 level) under the guidance of a specific instructor; this is usually done when one or two students and a professor agree to such an arrangement, which must be at the convenience and within the time limits of those involved.
Courses at the 800-level (and courses at the 900-level entitled "Directed Research") are defined as seminars. Students must complete two seminars for the M.A. and two additional seminars for the Ph.D. In these courses students conduct and present primary research projects. The major requirements of these seminars is the preparation of a paper or journal-article length and style, involving the use of primary sources (in the original language where necessary). Bibliographical essays, specifically, do not meet the seminar requirement.
Some students may elect to take the thesis option for the M.A., but this does not reduce the requirement for seminars.
Ph.D. students have the option of taking History 603: Historical Teaching in place of one of the four required research seminars. M.A. students may not substitute History 603 for one of their two required research seminars, but are nonetheless strongly encouraged to take the course.