The Carlyles lived at the heart of English life in mid-Victorian London, but both were outsiders. A largely self-educated pair from Scotland, they often took a caustic look at the society they so influenced—Thomas through his writings and both through their network of acquaintences and correspondents. Thomas would write about matters of the day, while Jane would tell tales of everything from turmoil with dust to Dickens at a party. Yet despite everything, Jane suffered as Thomas grew infatuated with the lion-hunting Lady Ashburton, and the tensions in their own marriage made them sensitive to contemporary debates about the position of women, divorce, legitamacy, and prostitution. This joint biography describes their relationship with each other, from their first meeting in 1821 to Jane's death in 1866, and their relationship with the outside world.
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