• Michael Timko


How does one conclude a study of two such complex figures, whose relationship so accurately reflects the age in which they lived and whose writings helped create that age? Sanders implies that from a study of the two, particularly from a study of the ‘full impact of Carlyle’s mind on Tennyson’s poetry’, one could gain a richer and deeper understanding of the age. Among those areas that would yield results, he suggests, would be the

protest against all kinds of shams and a holding up of veracity and sincerity as high ideals; with a literary art making extensive use of materials handed down by the past but also vitally interested in contemporaneous economic, social, political, and religious problems; … with a persistent protest against materialism and a fresh interpretation of the Christian religion; with the protection of individualism against mass pressures and many kinds of conformity. (CFS, p. 224)

My ‘study’ of the two figures has not followed that ‘line’—that is, I have not tried to show the ‘full impact’ of Carlyle’s mind on Tennyson’s work. What I have attempted to do is to indicate the way that each came to have certain ideas and how they both came to express those ideas in their writings, both necessarily contending with the major problems of their age.


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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    Anthony J. Harding, ‘Sterling, Carlyle, and German Higher Criticism: A Reassessment’, Victorian Studies, 26 (1983), 269–85, esp. 279.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    I have quoted directly from Praeterita, while Cate summarises the message from it (Works, XXXV, 545–8). The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin, ed. George Alan Cate (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1982), p. 51.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Timko 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Timko
    • 1
  1. 1.City University of New YorkUSA

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