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March 20, 2017 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Samuel Butler refused to take sides. ‘It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another,’ he quipped, ‘and so make only two people miserable and not four.’
posted by Chrysostom (16 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Now, see, I thought *I* had come up with that little bon mot myself!
posted by Billiken at 1:45 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


The Carlyles are an interesting couple. J. A. Froude's revelations about their marriage (in publishing Carlyle's own Reminiscences of Jane and then a full-length biography of Carlyle himself) caused quite the scandal.

MeFi has done Carlyle before.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:36 PM on March 20


Carlyle himself certainly seems like a piece of work, but his history of the French Revolution is great. Like Gibbon's Decline and Fall, I disagree with a fair bit of it, but it's beautifully written.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:50 PM on March 20


"I hate you Butler." - Thomas Carlyle
posted by w0mbat at 2:52 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


I just read TFA and am pleasantly surprised to find it's mostly about Jane, seeing as the teaser is mostly about Thomas and Samuel.
posted by chavenet at 4:42 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


‘It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another,’ he quipped, ‘and so make only two people miserable and not four.’

I once made reference to this line when talking to an accountant I worked with, when two unpleasant colleagues of ours found themselves working together (to the general relief of everyone else who did not then have to work with them). She told me she didn't understand what I was on about, because she didn't even know who the Carlyles were. Missing the point a bit.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:22 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Did he have Roderick Usher syndrome or something?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:57 PM on March 20


Jane doesn't seem to have been all that miserable.

Carlyle was apparently so self-absorbed that only quite small quantities of his vile humors actually leaked out into her everyday life, leaving her largely free to devote herself to her true passions: the House, its Servants, and its Guests.
posted by jamjam at 8:05 PM on March 20


I may have to buy this book - if only to learn more about Helen, Jane's splendidly drunken servant.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:20 AM on March 21 [6 favorites]


There’s an abundance of editions of Mrs Carlyle’s letters to be found at archive.org, for anyone who’s curious to read some of them, for example: posted by misteraitch at 6:06 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Carlyle was apparently so self-absorbed that only quite small quantities of his vile humors actually leaked out ...

Given the role Carlyle's dyspepsia played in his life and work, you could say that he built his career on his vile humors.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:43 AM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Charles Darwin:

I remember a funny dinner at my brother's, where, amongst a few others, were Babbage and Lyell, both of whom liked to talk, Carlyle, however, silenced everyone by haranguing during the whole dinner on the advantages of silence. After dinner Babbage, in his grimmest manner, thanked Carlyle for his very interesting lecture on silence..
posted by Segundus at 6:51 AM on March 21 [10 favorites]


Is that Charles Babbage? If I would have had one chance to have been present at a dinner part containing both Darwin and Babbage, and Carlyle had made them shut up, I think I would never have been able to forgive him...
posted by Harald74 at 7:30 AM on March 21 [4 favorites]


This sounds like a great read with Jane being rather the tumblr-star of her circle! Will keep an eye out for it.
posted by Iteki at 8:00 AM on March 21


But Leigh Hunt said
..."Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add
Jenny kiss'd me."
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:26 PM on March 21


Now, see, I thought *I* had come up with that little bon mot myself!

I was about to post the same thing when I saw you'd beaten me to it. Was gonna chalk it up to great minds, etc., but then I saw your username was the obscure mascot of my high school, and then I momentarily wondered whether I *had* posted it from an account I might have forgotten that I set up. Now I'm racking my brain for a better word than idiosyncraceponysterical.
posted by NumberSix at 9:08 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


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