[Chapter 5, note 23, of the author's Carlyle and the Search for Authority, which the Ohio State University Press published in 1991. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright. not in print version indicates a link to material not in the original print version. GPL]

Carlyle began the actual writing of Frederick the Great in the spring of 1855, and already in the spring of 1856, and again that summer, he was writing that he hoped to send the "First half of [his] wretched Book7to press in the autumn (NL, 2:178; RWE, 510. Yet it was two years later, injune 1858, before he could report that he had only a sheet and a half of the first two volumes to write, and even so there were further delays (NL, 2:192). At work on what he initially thought of as the second pair of volumes, he again optimistically reported early in 1859 that he planned to finish in a year (Duffy, 583). Yet, in late 1860, he admitted that his work went "very slow[lyl" and he was, still not "yet quite done" with the second of the planned ten-it turned out to be eleven-books (NL, 2:209). The process of delay continued until the autumn of 1864, when he could finally say with confidence that the history would soon be finished; even then he was still some six months away from finishing it (NL, 2:225, 226; see also 225; RWE, 534; Duffy, 588; Allingham, Letters, 135).


Victorian Website Overview Thomas Carlyle John Ruskiin Contents

Last modified 26 October 2001