Books: Neurotic Victorians

NECESSARY EVIL: THE LIFE OF JANE WELSH CARLYLE (618 pp.)—Lawrence & Ellsabefh Hanson—Macmillan ($7.50).

Thomas Carlyle was often a boor, but never a bore. When he came courting Jane Welsh, he "made puddings in his teacup" and "scratched the fender dreadfully," causing her to say that he should be confined in "carpet-shoes and handcuffs" with only his "tongue . . . left at liberty."

"Dare you wed a wild man of the woods." he crooned, "and come and live with him in his cavern . . .?" Jane had often answered "Never, never!" to such proposals. But at last she weakened and agreed,...

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