Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (with facsimile signature) by Samuel Lawrence, and engraved by J. C. Armytage.  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, Carlyle and Dickens shared an interest in social reform which helped to cement this unlikely friendship.  Dickens dedicated Hard Times For These Times, a commentary on effects of the Industrial Revolution on the working poor, to Carlyle.  Carlyle was the author of The History of the French Revolution, published in 1837; he later provided Dickens with material that assisted Dickens in writing A Tale of Two Cities.  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.