The result is a sweeping history of the revolution from 1789 to 1795. It is considered to be one of the most authoritative accounts of the earliest part of the revolution. Mill supplied Carlyle with a library of material about the revolution. The book had its mishaps in getting completed, though. Carlyle labored furiously on the first volume and sent his only manuscript to Mill. However, Mill's maid mistakenly burned it, thinking it was trash. So, Carlyle rewrote it, producing a book that he said came "direct and flamingly from the heart."
The book was very different in style from other histories, which tend to be dispassionate and detached from the events. Carlyle's poetical prose style and his use present tense, first person plural involve the reader as close observer and nearly participant as the events unfold. The technique has been both praised and severely criticized.
The first volume was an immediate success and it helped establish Carlyle's literary reputation. It was a triumph of enthusiastic storytelling combined with detailed accounts of historical fact and philosophical discourse. So dramatic was his approach and accurate in its details that it inspired Charles Dickens to use it as his primary reference in writing A Tale of Two Cities.
Carlyle produced numerous other works, including Signs of the Times (1829), Sartor Resartus (1831), Chartism (1840), On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History (1841), Past and Present (1843), The Life of John Sterling (1851), History of Friedrich II of Prussia (1858), and Reminiscences of my Irish Journey in 1849 (1882).