Books

Jane Welsh Carlyle and her Victorian World

Jane Welsh Carlyle and her Victorian World
A Story of Love, Work, Friendship, and Marriage
Kathy Chamberlain
Price: £
14.99
  • Paperback
Published: 
18 Oct 2018
ISBN: 
9780715652688
Pages: 
400
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

Hailed by Virginia Woolf and many others as one of the all-time great letter writers, Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of Thomas Carlyle, is not as well-known today as she should be. In this compelling new biography for the general reader, Kathy Chamberlain brings Jane out of her husband’s shadow, revealing her to be a remarkable woman and writer in her own right. Caught between her own literary aspirations and Victorian society’s oppression of women, Jane Welsh Carlyle hoped to move beyond domestic life and become a respected published writer. As she and her husband moved in exclusive London literary circles, mingling with noted authors, poets, and European revolutionaries, Carlyle created and reported to her correspondents on her rich, rewarding life in her Chelsea home – until her husband’s infatuation with a wealthy, imposing aristocratic society hostess threw her life into chaos.

Reviews

'A Rich and absorbing study… Persuasively sympathetic to her subject’s difficulties and so infectiously alert to her talents… everything connects in Chamberlain’s ingenious curation of people and themes' Daily Telegraph

‘Chamberlain plunges us into the world of Jane and Thomas with dizzying effect. We meet extraordinary characters along the way… a judicious and thoughtful biography’ Paula Byrne, Sunday Times

'Hugely satisfying… such a happy read… You have to buy the book, which you’ll then read aloud, pass around, and quote from. Jane Carlyle is back with a vengeance' Spectator

‘A compelling portrait of Jane Carlyle… illuminates the outwardly decorous but often inwardly tempestuous lives of Victorian women’ The New Yorker

'In forensic detail, this superb biography looks at six years in her life' Sunday Telegraph

'A fascinating woman who has been in her husband's shadow - until now... a really fascinating book... like a letter from the present illuminating the past' Janice Forsyth, BBC Radio Scotland

‘Informative and enjoyable’ Historical Novels Society 

'Compelling, readable, and utterly distinct in its approach… You will be captivated' Elizabeth Strout, author of My Name is Lucy Barton and the Pulitzer prize winning Olive Kitteridge

'We can meet this witty, highly intelligent, sprightly, and politically aware woman – everything that Jane was –in Kathy Chamberlain’s engagingly written biography' Deirdre Bair, biographer of Samuel Beckett

'Read with pleasure and assent' Lyndall Gordon, author of Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life

'A valuable rescue operation, full of charm' Alix Kates Shulman, author of To The Barricades: The Anarchist Life of Emma Goldman

'Like savouring a Jane Austen novel... simply the finest and most original biography I have read in years' Diane Jacobs, author of Her Own Woman: The Life of Mary Wollstonecraft 

'Kathy Chamberlain... has done much to broaden our understanding of the complexities of Welsh’s character... the strength of Chamberlain’s biography is in its wider exploration of how writerly practices and discursiveness played a very active role in both establishing and dismantling gender roles and hierarchies' Oxonian Review

‘There could not be a more enthusiastic or sympathetic champion of this not always easy woman, no whiff of hagiography spoils the venture… Chamberlain’s method… presents Jane Carlyle as if there is no barrier between her and us, allowing her to walk straight into our presence… by its end, Jane Welsh Carlyle and Her Victorian World has evoked its subject with something close to brilliance.’ Scottish Review of Books 

‘[An] unflaggingly vivid biography [and] a deeply textured evocation of mid-nineteenth century life… Jane lacked her own Boswell, but Kathy Chamberlain has made up for it.’ TLS

'Chamberlain, Jane's latest and incomparably best biographer ... gives us, at last, a Jane Carlyle who seems thrillingly alive' Christian Science Monitor Online

'Fascinating...meticulously researched' Washington Independent Review of Books

'Kathy Chamberlain has written an intelligent, witty, thoroughly engaging biography of Jane Welsh Carlyle...Chamberlain’s sensitivity, wit and deep knowledge of the period are beautifully suited to her subject, making this the most fascinating biography I have read in years' Minneapolis Star Tribune

Kathy Chamberlain

About Kathy Chamberlain

Kathy Chamberlain has lectured on Jane Welsh Carlyle at the CUNY Graduate Center and at conferences in the US and UK, and has published numerous essays about Jane Welsh Carlyle and Virginia Woolf, writing reviews for the Virginia Woolf Society
of Great Britain.

Jane Welsh Carlyle and her Victorian World

Jane Welsh Carlyle and her Victorian World
A Story of Love, Work, Friendship, and Marriage
Kathy Chamberlain
Price: £
25.00
  • Hardback
Published: 
9 Mar 2017
ISBN: 
9780715651650
Pages: 
400
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

The first contemporary biography of this highly accomplished nineteenth-century writer. 

Hailed by Virginia Woolf and many others as one of the all-time great letter writers, Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of Thomas Carlyle, is not as well known today as she should be. In this compelling new biography for the general reader, Kathy Chamberlain brings Jane out of her husband’s shadow, revealing her to be a remarkable woman and writer in her own right.

Caught between her literary aspirations and Victorian society’s oppression of women, Jane Welsh Carlyle, while respecting the housewifely sphere, yearned to discover a mission in life beyond it.  As she and her husband moved in exclusive London literary circles, mingling with noted authors, poets, and European revolutionaries, Carlyle reported to her correspondents on her rich, rewarding life in her Chelsea home – until her husband’s infatuation with a wealthy aristocratic hostess threw her life into jeopardy.

Through in-depth research and unparalleled access to Jane Welsh Carlyle’s private correspondence, only recently fully available, Kathy Chamberlain has created an elegant portrait of an extraordinary writer. 

 

Reviews

'Hugely satisfying… such a happy read… You have to buy the book, which you’ll then read aloud, pass around, and quote from. Jane Carlyle is back with a vengeance' Spectator

'A Rich and absorbing study… Persuasively sympathetic to her subject’s difficulties and so infectiously alert to her talents… everything connects in Chamberlain’s ingenious curation of  people and themes' Daily Telegraph

'In forensic detail, this superb biography looks at six years in her life' Sunday Telegraph

'Chamberlain plunges us into the world of Jane and Thomas with dizzying effect. We meet extraordinary characters along the way… a judicious and thoughtful biography' Paula Byrne, The Sunday Times

'A fascinating woman who has been in her husband's shadow - until now... a really fascinating book... like a letter from the present illuminating the past' Janice Forsyth, BBC Radio Scotland

‘Informative and enjoyable’ Historical Novels Society 

‘A compelling portrait of Jane Carlyle… illuminates the outwardly decorous but often inwardly tempestuous lives of Victorian women’ The New Yorker

'Compelling, readable, and utterly distinct in its approach… You will be captivated' Elizabeth Strout, author of My Name is Lucy Barton and the Pulitzer prize winning Olive Kitteridge

'We can meet this witty, highly intelligent, sprightly, and politically aware woman – everything that Jane was –in Kathy Chamberlain’s engagingly written biography' Deirdre Bair, biographer of Samuel Beckett

'Read with pleasure and assent' Lyndall Gordon, author of Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life

'A valuable rescue operation, full of charm' Alix Kates Shulman, author of To The Barricades: The Anarchist Life of Emma Goldman

'Like savouring a Jane Austen novel... simply the finest and most original biography I have read in years' Diane Jacobs, author of Her Own Woman: The Life of Mary Wollstonecraft 

'Kathy Chamberlain... has done much to broaden our understanding of the complexities of Welsh’s character... the strength of Chamberlain’s biography is in its wider exploration of how writerly practices and discursiveness played a very active role in both establishing and dismantling gender roles and hierarchies' Oxonian Review

‘There could not be a more enthusiastic or sympathetic champion of this not always easy woman, no whiff of hagiography spoils the venture… Chamberlain’s method… presents Jane Carlyle as if there is no barrier between her and us, allowing her to walk straight into our presence… by its end, Jane Welsh Carlyle and Her Victorian World has evoked its subject with something close to brilliance.’ Scottish Review of Books 

‘[An] unflaggingly vivid biography [and] a deeply textured evocation of mid-nineteenth century life… Jane lacked her own Boswell, but Kathy Chamberlain has made up for it.’ TLS

'Chamberlain, Jane's latest and incomparably best biographer ... gives us, at last, a Jane Carlyle who seems thrillingly alive' Christian Science Monitor Online

'Fascinating...meticulously researched' Washington Independent Review of Books

'Kathy Chamberlain has written an intelligent, witty, thoroughly engaging biography of Jane Welsh Carlyle...Chamberlain’s sensitivity, wit and deep knowledge of the period are beautifully suited to her subject, making this the most fascinating biography I have read in years' Minneapolis Star Tribune

Kathy Chamberlain

About Kathy Chamberlain

Kathy Chamberlain has lectured on Jane Welsh Carlyle at the CUNY Graduate Center and at conferences in the US and UK, and has published numerous essays about Jane Welsh Carlyle and Virginia Woolf, writing reviews for the Virginia Woolf Society
of Great Britain.