Writing elsewhere I argued in The Critic that King Charles can be a late bloomer by becoming the builder king. Salon tonight! My salon series How to Read a Novel continues tonight, all about Silas Marner. We would love to see you there. Thomas Carlyle’s Great Man Theory is a fairly discredited view among historians, who don’t tend to take biography seriously. It is self-evidently absurd to take literally Carlyle’s claim that “The History of the world is but the Biography of great men”. Collective forces are real. But we can endorse Carlyle’s theory without abandoning what Auden called the “vast impersonal forces” of history.
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