The New Age and the Apocalypse - Carlyle's developing vision on history and society.
This thesis is an investigation into the concern for History displayed in the Works of Thomas Carlyle. This is seen to be related to his criticism of contemporary society. Carlyle studied History for an insight into the problems of the nineteenth century, and History enriched his roles as artist, prophet and social critic. However, his view remained concentrated on his own age. This concern is seen to be founded on his conception of the nineteenth century as an age of transition, during which society was undergoing profound apocalyptic upheaval. The overarching theme of the new age and the apocalypse embraces both Carlyle's historical works and his social criticism. Carlyle's emergent vision of the modern age as one of change, disruption and disintegration is viewed in the light of his antipathy toward the secularizing, materialist trends of the age, as well as his portrayal of the successive periods of belief and apocalyptic change in History. The important scholarship already in existence on Carlyle's early intellectual and religious background is endorsed in this study. Setting out from the view that greater attention needs to be paid to Carlyle's intellectual and religious development after 1834, the study discusses the salient ingredients in Carlyle's important historical works, and the important bearing these had upon his social criticism. The research is based on Carlyle's Works; as well as on manuscripts and letters of Carlyle, published and unpublished.
AuthorsNash, Geoffrey Philip
- Theses