The most important writings by the great and controversial Victorian polemicist. Carlyle was one of the great figures of his age: thunderous, passionate, irascible, sceptical and idealistic. This selection is representative of all stages of Carlyle's career, and includes 'Sign of the Times', his essay against the mechanization of the age and the rise of the machines; the whole of 'Chartism'; and extracts from The French Revolution, Heroes and Hero-Worship, Sartor Resartus, Past and Present, as well as other pieces. The book also includes an introduction and notes by Alan Shelston. Thomas Carlyle was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1795. Intended by his family to become a Presbyterian minister, he was influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment while at the University of Edinburgh and became a teacher instead. He later turned to literary work, publishing a life of Schiller and translations of Goethe in the 1820s. His first truly successful book was The French Revolution, which was followed by many others. He died in 1881. Alan Shelston was Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Manchester until retirement in 2002. He has edited a number of Gaskell's works including The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1975) and North and South (2005), and was joint editor with John Chapple of The Further Letters of Mrs Gaskell (2000). He has published a selection of Hardy's poetry and written on a number of nineteen century authors including Dickens and Henry James.