Thomas Carlyle ; introduction and notes by Chris R. Vanden Bossche ; text established by Chris R. Vanden Bossche, Joel J. Brattin, and D.J. Trela
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian, cultural critic, and leading man of English letters during the Victorian era, published "Past and Present", one of his most influential works, in 1843. Written as a response to the economic crisis of the 1840s - closure of factories, loss of jobs, the growth of slums in industrial centers, the starving poor - "Past and Present" aimed to lead readers toward a 'conversion experience' in order to stimulate social reform. In this work, Carlyle provides a trenchant articulation of the political, social, religious, and economic climate of the mid-nineteenth century and a prophetic vision of the future. This volume, the fourth of the eight-volume "Strouse" Edition, includes an informative historical introduction and illustrations, along with complete notes and scholarly apparatus, and is the definitive modern scholarly edition.