Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a British historian, satirical writer, essayist, translator, philosopher, mathematician, and teacher. In his book On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History (1841), he argued that the actions of the "Great Man" play a key role in history, claiming that "the history of the world is but the biography of great men". Other major works include The French Revolution: A History, 3 vols (1837) and The History of Friedrich II of Prussia, Called Frederick the Great, 6 vols (1858–65).A respected historian, his 1837 The French Revolution was the inspiration for Charles Dickens' 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities, and remains popular today. Carlyle's 1836 Sartor Resartus is a notable philosophical novel.
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I think all people would like to feel that they’re a necessary part of life. That they’re necessary in the world, and that life would be poorer if they weren’t in it. When you accomplish something, when you write good poetry, then I think you feel that the world would be slightly different if you weren’t in it. And that, I think, is part of what being needed is about.