In June 1834 Carlyle settled with his wife at No. 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, and for some years was hard put to it to keep the wolf from the door. He was now at work on his History of the French Revolution, and had completed the first volume early in 1835. John Stuart Mill, who had helped him with advice and with a generous loan of books, now asked to see the manuscript, and Carlyle lent it to him. What followed is told below. `How well I still remember that night,' Carlyle wrote many years later, 'when Mill came to tell us, pale as Hector's ghost, that my unfortunate first volume was burnt.' The Mrs. Taylor who was waiting below, and whose maid it was that had done the deed, was the lady whom Mill later married. The account given here was sent by Carlyle to his brother in Rome, in a letter dated 23 March 1835.
Note from Thomas Carlyle, from Literary Anecdotes