The Collected Letters, Volume 10


CHRONOLOGY; 1985; DOI: 10.1215/ed-10-chronology; CL 10: firstpage-10-xv-lastpage-10-xvi


1838 January. TC discusses extensive publication and republication of his works with James Fraser. An edition of the Miscellanies proposed, including an American edition, and a second edition of The French Revolution. “Sir Walter Scott” published in the London and Westminster Review. TC considers writing a new article on the working classes.

February. Hard winter weather, extensive reading (including Dante), a short holiday in Windsor. First meets Thomas Spedding, and cultivates friendship with Thomas Erskine.

March. TC prepares lectures.

April. TC receives copy of the American edition of The French Revolution; continues to discuss the Miscellanies with Fraser. Meets Southey. 11: advertises lectures “On the History of Literature,” and begins preparations in earnest. 12: meets Gladstone, Hallam, Whewell, and visits Jeffrey. JWC has influenza. 30: lectures begin (not published till 1892).

May. Lectures occur twice a week; reviewed by Thackeray and Hunt. Demand grows for a reprint of Sartor but Fraser still unwilling. TC drafts a petition on the penny post. Growing friendship with John Marshall and family.

June. 4: TC dines with Spring Rice, Chancellor of the Exchequer. 11: lectures end, having earned about £260. Saunders & Otley agree to an edition of Sartor, 500 copies, printing to start immediately. 28: TC sees coronation procession of Queen Victoria.

July. Samuel Laurence sketches TC: several sketches and one oil painting date from this time.

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Frontispiece, CL Volume 10

Oil portrait of Thomas Carlyle by Samuel Laurence, 1838.

The original is privately owned; reproduced by kind permission of the owner.

Sartor published in London, and the first two volumes of the Miscellanies in America. 26: death of canary Chico.

August. TC restless and undecided about holiday plans: his mother is in Manchester, his brother John delayed in Italy. Finally (18th) leaves London by steamboat to Leith, and continues to Kirkcaldy to visit the Ferguses. JWC remains, and so they exchange letters. Arrival of £50 from Emerson, TC's first American earnings.

September. 4: TC goes to Edinburgh (visiting friends including Jeffrey), then to Minto Manse (to visit the Aitkens), and finally (8th) to Scotsbrig. His mother returns from her holiday (14th), and John arrives from Italy to complete a family reunion. TC rides widely, including Templand (to see Mrs. Welsh), Dumfries, and Annan.

October. 6: TC leaves Scotland, to Liverpool by steamer, and to Manchester (7th) and London (8th) by rail. Resumes reading, and publishing plans with Fraser.

November. Continues revisions of the Miscellanies; asks Emerson for 250 sheets of the American edition for Fraser to publish in London. John returns to Italy.

December. Early part of the month spent in controversy about the sinking of the Vengeur. “Varnhagen von Ense's Memoirs” appears in the London and Westminster Review.