Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), detail from Ford Madox Brown's Work, 1852-1865Thomas Carlyle was born on 4 December 1795 and died on 5 February 1881. He was an author, biographer and historian.

One of the issues about which he wrote was work. In his book Past and Present, he contrasts the past (where work was a rewarding experience and the worker was well respected) with the present (where money is all that matters).

He thought that the employers should concern themselves with the welfare of their employees, not simply paying them. He believed work was almost sacred, providing for the people engaged in it, whereas idleness brought despair.