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December 4: Thomas Carlyle (1795)

It was on this date, December 4, 1795, that British historian Thomas Carlyle was born in Ecclefechan in Scotland. He was brought up in a strict Calvinist home and began his career as a teacher in 1813 while studying for the ministry. Carlyle abandoned his Christian beliefs in 1818 after reading Gibbon. After further study in German literature, especially Goethe, which he translated for the British public, Carlyle gave up the Holy Ghost and immortality, as well, adopting a Pantheism like Goethe’s.

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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

November 14: Charles Lyell

Charles Lyell (1797) It was on this date, November 14, 1797, that pioneering Scottish geologist Charles Lyell was born the oldest of 10 children of an active naturalist. He was educated at Oxford and turned from the law to geology, publishing his greatest work, The Principles of Geology, in three volumes from 1830-1833. His researches […]



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