Jane Welsh Carlyle was the wife of essayist Thomas Carlyle and has been cited as the reason for his fame and fortune. She was most notable as a letter-writer. In 1973, G.B. Tennyson described her as
She had been introduced to Carlyle by her tutor Edward Irving, with whom she came to have a mutual romantic attraction.
The couple married in 1826, but the marriage was at times unhappy. Their voluminous correspondence has been published, and the letters show that the couple had an affection for one another that was marred by frequent quarrels. Samuel Butler once wrote: "It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable and not four". Carlyle's biographer James Anthony Froude published his opinion that the marriage remained unconsummated.
Blessed be the inventor of photography! It has given more positive pleasure to poor suffering humanity than anything else that has "cast up" in my time -- this art by which even the "poor" can possess themselves of tolerable of their absent dear ones.