"a prophet-figure like Thomas Carlyle"

 Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was a Scottish born writer, essayist and historian.

He was brought up in a strict Calvinist tradition but rejected his faith as a young adult.

Following his marriage in 1826 he settled in London where he became a friend of the philosopher John Stuart Mill. His early writings expressed progressive political views which inspired social reformers such as John Ruskin and William Morris although his work became increasingly right-wing and anti-democratic from the late 1840s onwards.