Hailed by Virginia Woolf and many others as the all-time great letter writer, Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of Thomas Carlyle, is not as well known today as she should be. In this compelling new biography for the general reader, Kathy Chamberlain brings Jane out of her husband's shadow, revealing her to be a remarkable woman and writer in her own right. Caught between her literary aspirations and Victorian society's oppression of women, Jane Welsh Carlyle hoped to move beyond domestic life and become a respected published writer. As she and her husband moved in exclusive London literary circles, mingling with noted authors, poets, and European revolutionaries, Carlyle reported to her correspondents on her rich, rewarding life in her Chelsea home - until her husband's infatuation with a wealthy aristocratic hostess threw her life into turmoil. Through in-depth research and unparalleled access to Jane Welsh Carlyle's private correspondence, Kathy Chamberlain has created an elegant portrait of an extraordinary writer.