Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Sociological Origins 6 (Fall): 92-95.


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The first-known (and now lost) translation of Saint-Simon’s Nouveau christianisme was prepared by the well-known Scotch-born prose writer, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881). Carlyle was considerably interested in the Saint- Simonian movement (Cofer 1931; Murphy 1936; Shine 1941) and undertook to translate Saint-Simon’s last work during the latter half of 1830. The following excerpts from Carlyle’s correspondence reveal that he was unable to find a willing publisher for his translation, and the manuscript subsequently disappeared, presumably in France. This unfortunate chain of events accounts in part for the circumstance that Nouveau christianisme was not better-known among Englishspeaking sociologists and lay readers. Although James E. Smith produced and published an English translation in 1834,3 Smith’s name carried little of Carlyle’s impressive and occasionally controversial weight, especially in the United States where Carlyle became particularly well-known as the author of Sartor Resartus (1833-1834) and The French Revolution, A History (1837).