Magazine September 7, 2020, Issue

The Gospel of Jean-Jacques

(Roman Genn)
Carlyle’s epic account of the French Revolution resonates today

The most famous fiasco in literary history occurred when Thomas Carlyle gave John Stuart Mill the first part of his great work The French Revolution to critique. Mill’s maid thought the manuscript was wastepaper and threw it into the fire. The loss was total. Carlyle had no copy.

Carlyle and his formidable wife, Jane, were newly arrived in London from Scotland, with scant savings in their purse. The loss of the book, and its anticipated revenue, threatened them with ruin. Carlyle (who had just been introduced to high society, and was keeping company with grandees such as Mill and Wordsworth) manfully

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John D. Hagen, Jr.Mr. Hagen is an attorney. His writing has also appeared in The Weekly Standard, Commonweal, and America.

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Max the Hamster

The pandemic, the shutdown, and the riots reveal, of the cities, the truth of that ancient bureaucratic adage: Don’t ever take a vacation.

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U.S.

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