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The fastnesses of British prose

  • Patrick Waddington

Abstract

One of Turgenev’s earliest and most sustained contacts this winter was with Thomas Carlyle. It will be recalled that in 1866, when Turgenev had sent him a moving letter of sympathy on the death of his wife, Carlyle said he did not expect to see the Russian again. Turgenev must have shared this view: he had little prospect of visiting England now that Herzen was gone, and the Censor of the Age had passed his threescore-years-and-ten. It is also debatable if the authors read each other so much. In the June of 1862 Turgenev had made a firm recommendation that Pauline Viardot should study the Heroes, presumably because he himself was considering Carlyle at that time, and some have thought that his jumping about in time and space in Phantoms owes something to Sartor Resartus. There does not, however, seem to be any evidence that he read the History of Frederick the Great, Carlyle’s biggest, most delightfully written, but largely unappreciated masterpiece — which is strange in view of their discussions on political power in the summer of 1857. On the other hand the writers never completely lost touch. In the spring of 1868, encouraged by Carlyle’s expression of continuing interest in him, Turgenev sent back an assurance of his happiness and pride at being so remembered and had Hetzel dispatch a copy of Fumée. This exchange was carried out through Ralston. Later in 1868 Turgenev again sent his respects by this channel, and in the summer of the following year requested that a copy of Liza be presented to Carlyle. One supposes that the latter read both these novels and thanked their author for them.

Keywords

National Gallery Sustained Contact Great Poet BRITISH Prose Publishing Family 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Patrick Waddington 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Waddington
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

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