History of Carlyle's Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches

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Traces the history of Carlyle's interest in Cromwell from the 1820s through publication of his edition of letters and speeches in 1845. Considers Carlyle's skills as historian by analyzing his use of available sources, his accuracy, and his editorial techniques. Also traces the history of Cromwell's reputation in 19th-century history and literature, the extent to which Carlyle was influenced by writing prior to his own, and the effect his own work had on subsequent historians and on the general public for whom he wrote.


". . . Trela's voice is wonderfully clear and, at times, drily ironic as he leads the reader through the work's genesis, development, publication, revision and critical heritage. As a history of Carlyle's work, Trela's study is excellent, a model of lucid organization and thorough research. . . . a strong and very readable argument that should at least convince us to give Carlyle's Cromwell considerably more critical atttention than it has received to date." -- Newsletter of the Victorian Studies Association of Ontario

"Long overdue study of a now unfashionable Carlyle work but one that repays this author's sedulous labors as it will the reader's." -- Nineteenth-Century Literature

"Trela has spent much time and diligence peering over Carlyle's shoulder, so to speak, as he prepared his monumental work on Cromwell. The result is a microscopically detailed reconstruction of Carlyle at work that covers the genesis and evolution of the Cromwell project, Carlyle's research and editing, and, in the final three chapters, a broader consideration of the value of the finished work as literature and its effect on subsequent opinion. . . . this study contains much useful and detailed information on every aspect of Carlyle's search for the true Cromwell. . . . Dr. Johnson, another of Carlyle's heroes, declared of Cromwell that 'everything worth saying about him had already been said.' Trela's book, with its wealth of detailed particulars, confounds that view." -- Journal of English and Germanic Philology

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