Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Thomas Carlyle, Provided That It Works, Vols 6 and 7

Adam from Lancashire has been kind enough to provide an additional link for the Thomas Carlyle book I had posted, I think, yesterday or the day before, and I will try posting it here in the hopes that it will work in case the other one is problematic as it was for him. He got only the excerpted version, which is broken up, probably with some pages missing.

On a personal note, I've somewhat lost track of time because I had to unexpectedly do 16 hours in the salt mine, so that my coworker could get her hair done for the upcoming events.

If you will have a look on the sidebar at the blogroll, Adam's blog is the one called Golden Sun, and it includes many more such links to books, so I look up to him as a Google-Book Link provider. 

On the link I provided in the previous post to this one, the printing is from 1871 and Volume 6 for me was there in toto, from pages before 1 to 453, and covers from before Fontenoy, actually the winter of 1744-45, up to the end of the Second Silesian War, which ends right after Kesselsdorf when peace was made for that part of the war on Christmas. In other words, Volume 6 covers the 12 months of 1745.

Now in this next link from Adam, I cannot find the date of the printing, but the type font and pagination are different, each page holding more words, so that instead of 453 pages this edition runs from page 1 to 317. But the link also has Volume 7, for another 290 pages, and this one tells of some episodes between the wars and the first couple years of the Seven Years War, carrying the story forward to just after the Battle of Leuthen, and the aftermath of it so somewhere around Christmas of 1757.

So, if the link works properly, this now provides another 300 or so pages, for reading when you get a chance. On page 284 of Volume 7, Carlyle does his own translation of the first four lines of the Leuthen Chorale song we looked at on December 5. Here is the new link. It is set up to land on page 108 where the chapter on Kesselsdorf  begins. Enjoy.

Carlyle's Friedrich, Vols 6 and 7

Now a note for those whose first language is not English, the style of Carlyle is very interesting, something like an artist or poet might use language, and not quite the way people usually talk in English, and that is part of its appeal. The biographical piece in the English Wikipedia also in the previous posting goes far to explain why he wrote it like that, and what he was trying to get across.

He has had a few problems with the modern PC point of view, to be sure, but I would like to think that the reader can handle that in a mature fashion, and by that I mean even if it is sometimes your own ox being gored.

Among lots of examples that could be dug up, let's pick on the English this time, look at how he describes  his Grace the Duke of Cumberland, also known as 'Butcher Cumberland' or 'Stinking Willie,' in the chapter about the unfortunate Battle of Fontenoy. The chapter is called something like "Martial Boy versus the Laws of Nature.' It's lively writing, you've got to hand him that. No one said we have to agree with it all.

And another swipe, this one at the French, from the beginning of Volume 6, a chapter subtitle: 'The French fully intend to behave better next Season to Friedrich and their German Allies; but are prevented by various Accidents (Nov 1744...)

He did spend seven years working on this huge book, and it is jam-packed with insights and tidbits of great interest which would nowadays be cut out and edited away, causing many anecdotes to be lost to history.

Besides the precautions about old books and  modern PC sensibilities where needful, the other precaution I might advise is to keep an eye on the clock because reading this man's prose can be addictive and one may well lose track of time. But that's good.

Thanks again to Adam, and do be sure to visit his blog frequently, as well as the others.

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