Autograph Letter, Signed, to Frederick M. White, Esq.

By: Carlyle, Thomas.

Price: $1,250.00

Quantity: 1 available


Dated Chelsea, 8 Septr, 1853. F.W. White, of Portsmouth, has written to get Carlyle's opinion of the desirability of publishing a translation of Goethe's Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities), perhaps one that he has in hand or that he proposes to undertake. "It is many years since I read the Wahlverwandtschaften, and the impression, never very vivid or agreeable, which it left upon me, is now grown somewhat dim and uncertain." He discourages the project, which would put White "...much exposed to the risks you anticipate..." and "it could not well forward the real understanding of Goethe's merits among us, or be of much use to England at present. A friend of mine has done a complete translation of this work; but keeps it lying by him as a thing not to be published." We have not been able find that White’s project went forward. Carlyle's friend may have been Robert Farie, who had apparently shown the Carlyles a manuscript of his translation of Wahlverwandtschaften in 1850 (The Carlyle Letters Online [CLO], Ed. Brent E. Kinser, September 14, 2007 Accessed May 24, 2015. See Carlyle to his wife, 7 October, 1850, and her return letter, 8 October, 1850). Farie was translator of at least one German work - Goethe’s Campaign in France in the Year 1792, 1848. But the maker of the first English version of Elective Affinities was also Carlyle's friend - James Anthony Froude. They had met in June, 1848. Froude is credited with the title translation “Elective Affinities”; he contracted with publisher Henry Bohn for the translation in 1851 and finished it the next year, but Bohn didn't issue it until 1854 – it was printed in Novels and Tales of Goethe..., Translated Chiefly by R.D. Boylan (Ciaran Brady, James Anthony Froude, 2013, p.178). Curiously, Carlyle used the phrase "elective affinity" in a letter to Emerson in 1843 ([COL] 17 November, 1843); it was a term in chemistry, thought by the Oxford English Dictionary to have originated in 1831 (quoted in Olive Classe, ed., Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, v.1, 2000, p.543). One sheet, two pages, folded for mailing, with original mailing envelope. Paper browned, contemporary stains and soiling to envelope. In Very Good condition.

Title: Autograph Letter, Signed, to Frederick M. White, Esq.

Author Name: Carlyle, Thomas.

Categories: Other,

Seller ID: carlyle,thomas.1250datedchelsea,8septr,1853.f.w.