Jane Welsh Carlyle

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Jane Welsh Carlyle (1801-07-14 - 1866-04-21) was the wife of Thomas Carlyle and a well-known writer of letters.


  • If they had said that the sun or the moon had gone out of the heavens, it could not have struck me with the idea of a more awful and dreary blank in creation than the words: "Byron is dead!"
  • A positive engagement to marry a certain person at a certain time, at all haps and hazards, I have always considered the most ridiculous thing on earth.
    • Letter to Thomas Carlyle (January 1825)
  • In spite of the honestest efforts to annihilate my I-ity, or merge it in what the world doubtless considers my better half, I still find myself a self-subsisting, and, alas! self-seeking me.
  • Oh Lord! If you but knew what a brimstone of a creature I am behind all this beautiful amiability!
  • Instead of boiling up individuals into the species, I would draw a chalk circle round every individuality, and preach to it to keep within that, and preserve and cultivate its identity.
  • I can see that the Lady has a genius for ruling, whilst I have a genius for not being ruled.
  • The surest way to get a thing in this life is to be prepared for doing without it, to the exclusion even of hope.
    • Journal entry (August 1849)
  • Not a hundredth part of the thoughts in my head have ever been or ever will be spoken or written — as long as I keep my senses, at least.
  • The triumphal-procession-air which, in our manners and customs, is given to marriage at the outset — that singing of Te Deum before the battle has begun.

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