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Masson, David and Carlyle, Thomas: letters

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 AL466
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Masson, David and Carlyle, Thomas: letters
Date(s): 1867
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 2 items (2 leaves)
Name of creator(s): Masson | David Mather | 1822-1907 | biographer, university teacher and editor
Carlyle | Thomas | 1795-1881 | historian and philosopher


Administrative/Biographical history:

David Mather Masson was born in Aberdeen and educated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, and the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a journalist in Scotland and London for several years, becoming acquainted with many leading literary figures. Masson became Professor of English at University College London in 1852 and Professor of Rhetoric and Literature at the University of Edinburgh in 1865, holding the latter position until his retirement in 1895. He became well-known as an editor and biographer and was named historiographer-royal for Scotland in 1893. He was also a noted supporter of tertiary education for women.

Thomas Carlyle was born in Ecclefechan, Annandale, Scotland on 4 December 1795. Brought up as a strict Calvinist, he was educated at the village school, Annan Academy and Edinburgh University (1809-1814) where he studied science and mathematics. After graduating from university he became a teacher at Kirkcaldy. In 1818 he moved to Edinburgh where he worked on translating German authors. Whilst in Edinburgh he also wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia and the Edinburgh Review. After spending two years in Edinburgh he moved to an isolated hill farm, Graigenputtoch, Dumfriesshire. At Graigenputtoch he worked on the Sartor Resartus, which was published in 1836. Carlyle moved to Chelsea, London in 1834, where he continued to give lectures, write articles, essays and books on many subjects including, history, philosophy and politics. He also contributed essays to the Westminster Review. Carlyle died age 85 in London on 5 February 1881.


Scope and content/abstract:

(1) Letter from David Mather Masson of the Garrick Club to Augustus De Morgan, 13 Jun 1867. Discussing Thomas Carlyle's mathematical work. (2) Letter from Thomas Carlyle of Chelsea to [De Morgan], 19 Jun 1867. Discussing Carlyle's translation of A M Legendre's Eléments de géométrie and the 'the Galbraith legend' [that a Mr Galbraith was the translator of Legendre's work]. Both letters are autograph, with signatures.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

See hard copy catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Please contact the University Archivist for details. 24 hours notice is required for research visits.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Typescript catalogue available in the Library's Palaeography Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

See archivist

Immediate source of acquisition:

Found inserted in De Morgan's copy of D Brewster's edition of A M Legendre Elements of Geometry and Trigonometry (1824), translated by Carlyle - classmark: [DeM] L6 [Legendre] SSR.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July 2008

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