Thomas Carlyle was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1795. Intended by his family to become a Presbyterian minister, he was influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment while at the University of Edinburgh and became a teacher instead. He later turned to literary work, publishing a life of Schiller and translations of Goethe in the 1820s. His first truly successful book was The French Revolution, which was followed by many others. He died in 1881.
Alan Shelston was Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Manchester until his retirement in 2002.