London: James Fraser, 1837. First edition. A fine set. Late nineteenth-century polished tan calf. Covers and spine ruled in gilt, top edges gilt, fore- and bottom edges untrimmed. Binding by Bickers & Sons, with their stamp in each volume. Three volumes, octavo. vii, , 404; vii, , 422, ; vii, , 448 pp., including the half-titles. Item #15846
Of the three great political upheavals which have altered the face of the world …. only the French Revolution has stimulated literary masterpieces which, in turn, have made their impact, direct and indirect, upon millions of readers … They are Carlyle's book and the History of the French Revolution by Michelet.
Carlyle wrote his French Revolution as a secular 'tract for the times' and as a warning for his compatriots of the frightful consequences of materialism, utilitarianism and democracy. Scottish Puritanism and German romanticism were his lodestars; 'History is the essence of innumerable biographies' was his historical creed. The result is not a work of scholarship but a prose epic, teeming with colourful scenes of dramatic events and imaginative portraits of leading revolutionaries" (Printing and the Mind of Man, 304).