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Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1562409">NYPL Digital Gallery</a> (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Jane Welsh Carlyle (1801–1866)

Author of Letters and memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

Includes the names: Jane Welsh Carlyle, Jane Weslsh Carlyle

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Disambiguation Notice

Born as: Jane Welsh; married to Thomas Carlyle

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Short biography
Jane Welsh Carlyle was considered one of the most fascinating women of her time. She was born Jane Baillie Welsh in Haddington, Scotland, the daughter of a surgeon. She attended the local school, and was a clever and precocious student, writing a novel at age 13. She went on to further tutoring and schooling in Edinburgh. When introduced by her uncle there to Thomas Carlyle, she was a beautiful, well-read, and accomplished girl. In 1826, the couple married. Much of what is known about their life comes from their voluminous correspondence, written whenever they were apart. Two years after the marriage, Jane's father died and she inherited the family farm at Craigenputtock. While Carlyle enjoyed the solitude of life on the farm, spending his time writing, Jane felt isolated and lonely. In 1834, they moved to London, where their home in Chelsea became the center of a brilliant literary circle. In the early years of the marriage, Jane wrote poetry, but as time went on she devoted herself to running the household, supporting Carlyle through his struggles as a writer, and making his life comfortable. He achieved success in 1837 with the publication of his book The French Revolution, and they became financially secure. Jane’s health, which was always frail, deteriorated in her later years, and she died at age 64. David George Ritchie, the Scottish philosopher, published The Early Letters of Jane Welsh Carlyle in 1889. She is now regarded as a highly interesting literary figure in her own right, rather than simply the wife of a great writer.
Disambiguation notice
Born as: Jane Welsh; married to Thomas Carlyle

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