Thomas Carlyle was the author of The History of the French Revolution, published in 1837.  He was a friend of Dickens, and provided material that assisted him in writing A Tale of Two Cities.  The friendship between Scottish puritan and often reclusive Thomas Carlyle and the outgoing, convivial Dickens seems an unlikely one.  Carlyle, writer of serious non-fiction, once referred to Pickwick Papers as “trash.”  However, Dickens and Carlyle shared an interest in social reform which helped cement their unlikely friendship.  Carlyle’s later anti-democratic opinions, especially his conclusion that the ideal leader is the “Strong Just Man,” a forerunner of fascist ideology, did not coincide with Dickens’s views.  Nevertheless, their friendship endured despite this clash of ideas.  This portrait of Thomas Carlyle is accompanied by a one-page autograph letter of Carlyle, signed “T. C.”, addressed to “My Dear Sir” and complaining of a headache and an inability to keep an appointment.