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The resemblances can only be taken as generic, but a good cap fits many particular heads. The success of the 'Snob Papers' perhaps led Thackeray to insist a little too frequently upon a particular variety of social infirmity. He was occasionally accused of sharing the weakness which he satirised, and would playfully admit that the charge was not altogether groundless. It is much easier to make such statements than to test their truth.

They indicate, however, one point which requires notice. Thackeray was at this time, as he remarks in 'Philip' chap, v. But he was a native of his own 'Tyburnia,' forced into 'Bohemia' by distress and there meeting many men of the Bludyer type who were his inferiors in refinement and cultivation. Such people were apt to show their 'unconventionally' by real coarseness, and liked to detect 'snobbishness' in any taste for good society. To wear a dress-coat was to truckle to rank and fashion. Thackeray, an intellectual aristocrat though politically a liberal, was naturally an object of some suspicion to the rougher among his companions.

If he appreciated refinement too keenly, no accusation of anything like meanness has ever been made against him. Meanwhile it was characteristic of his humour that he saw more strongly than any one the bad side of the society which held out to him the strongest temptations, and emphasised, possibly too much, its 'mean admiration of mean things' Snob Papers , chap, ii. Thackeray in received one proof of his growing fame by the presentation of a silver inkstand in the shape of 'Punch' from eighty admirers at Edinburgh, headed by Dr.

John Brown [q. His reputation was spreading by other works which distracted his energies from 'Punch. The characteristic 'Bow Street Ballads' in commemorate, among other things, his friendship for Matthew James Higgins [q. Some final contributions appeared in , but his connection ceased after , in which year he contributed forty-one articles and twelve cuts. Thackeray had by this time other occupations which made him unwilling to devote much time to journalism.

He wrote a letter in to one of the proprietors, explaining the reasons of his retirement. He was annoyed by the political line taken by 'Punch' in , especially by denunciations of Napoleon III, which seemed to him unpatriotic and dangerous to peace Spielmann , pp. He remained, however, on good terms with his old colleagues, and occasionally attended their dinners.

A sentence in his eulogy upon Leech appeared to disparage the relative merits of other contributors. Thackeray gave an 'atonement dinner' at his own house, and obtained full forgiveness Trollope , p. The advantages had been reciprocal, and were cordially admitted on both sides. From to he published yearly a 'Christmas book,' the last of which, 'The Kickleburys on the Rhine,' was attacked in the 'Times. Thackeray's 'May Day Ode' on the opening of the exhibition of appeared in the 'Times' of 30 April, and probably implied a reconciliation with the 'Thunderer. Thackeray had meanwhile made his mark in a higher department of literature.

His improving position had now enabled him to make a home for himself. In he took a house at 13 Young Street, whither he brought his daughters, and soon afterwards received long visits from the Smyths Brookfield Correspondence. There he wrote 'Vanity Fair. The first number of 'Vanity Fair' appeared in January , and the last a double number in July It has been said that 'Vanity Fair' was refused by many publishers, but the statement has been disputed cf.

Vizetelly , i. He received fifty guineas a number, including the illustrations. The first numbers were comparatively unsuccessful, and the book for a time brought more fame than profit. Gradually it became popular, and before it was ended his position as one of the first of English novelists was generally recognised.

On 16 Sept. Abraham Hayward [q. Hayward now reviewed the early numbers of 'Vanity Fair' in the 'Edinburgh' for January It is warmly praised as 'immeasurably superior' to all his known works. Edward FitzGerald speaks of its success a little later, and says that Thackeray has become a great man and goes to Holland House.

Monckton Milnes writes 19 May that Thackeray is 'winning great social success, dining at the Academy with Sir Robert Peel,' and so forth. Milnes was through life a very close friend; he had been with Thackeray to see the second funeral of Napoleon, and had accompanied him 'to see a man hanged' an expedition described by Thackeray in Fraser's Mag , August He tried to obtain a London magistracy for Thackeray in It was probably with a view to such an appointment, in which he would have succeeded Fielding, that Thackeray was called to the bar at the Middle Temple on 26 May As, however, a magistrate had to be a barrister of seven years' standing, the suggestion came to nothing Wemyss Reed , Monckton Milnes , i.

Trollope says p. Thackeray, in any case, had become famous outside of fashionable circles. In those days youthful critics divided themselves into two camps of Dickens and Thackeray worshippers. Both were popular authors of periodical publications, but otherwise a 'comparison' was as absurd as most comparisons of disparate qualities. As a matter of fact, Dickens had an incomparably larger circulation, as was natural to one who appealed to a wider audience. Thackeray had as many or possibly more adherents among the more cultivated critics; but for some years the two reigned supreme among novelists.

The second edition was dedicated in very enthusiastic terms to the 'Satirist of Vanity Fair. Rochester became current, and was mentioned seriously in a review of 'Vanity Fair' in the 'Quarterly' for January Miss Bronte came to London in June , and was introduced to her hero.

She met him at her publisher's house, and dined at his house on 12 June. Miss Bronte's genius did not include a sense of humour, and she rebuked Thackeray for some 'errors of doctrine,' which he defended by 'worse excuses. She attended one of his lectures in , and, though a little scandalised by some of his views, cordially admired his great qualities. The book has more autobiography than any of the novels, and clearly embodies the experience of Thackeray's early life so fully that it must be also pointed out that no stress must be laid upon particular facts.

Nor is it safe to identify any of the characters with originals, though Captain Shandon has been generally taken to represent Maginn; and Mrs. Carlyle gives a lively account in January of a young lady whom she supposed to be the original of Blanche Amory Memorials , ii. When accused of 'fostering a baneful prejudice against literary men,' Thackeray defended himself in a letter to the 'Morning Chronicle' of 12 Jan.

The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy

The state of Thackeray's finances up to Maginn's death seems to make this impossible, though the statement see above made by Father Prout suggests that on some pretext Maginn may have obtained such a sum from Thackeray. Anyway the book is a transcript from real life, and shows perhaps as much power as 'Vanity Fair,' with less satirical intensity.

A severe illness at the end of interrupted the appearance of 'Pendennis,' which was not concluded till December The book is dedicated to Dr. John Elliotson [q. On 25 Feb. An attempt to elect him in had been defeated by the opposition of one member. He was never, as has been said, 'blackballed. The illness of appears to have left permanent effects. He was afterwards liable to attacks which caused much suffering. Meanwhile, although he was now making a good income, he was anxious to provide for his children and recover what he had lost in his youth.

He resolved to try his hand at lecturing, following a precedent already set by such predecessors as Coleridge, Hazlitt, and Carlyle. The first on Swift , though attended by many friends, including Carlyle, Kinglake, Hallam, Macaulay, and Milman, seemed to him to be a failure ib. The lectures soon became popular, as they deserved to be. Thackeray was not given to minute research, and his facts and dates require some correction. But his delicate appreciation of the congenial writers and the finish of his style give the lectures a permanent place in criticism.

His 'light-in-hand manner,' as Motley remarked of a later course, 'suits well the delicate hovering rather than superficial style of his composition. The lectures had apparently been prepared with a view to an engagement in America Brookfield Correspondence , p. Before starting he published 'Esmond,' of which FitzGerald says 2 June that 'it was finished last Saturday.

His style had reached its highest perfection, and the tenderness of the feeling has won perhaps more admirers for this book than for the more powerful and sterner performances of the earlier period. The manuscript, now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, shows that it was written with very few corrections, and in great part dictated to his eldest daughter and Mr. Earlier manuscripts show much more alteration, and he clearly obtained a completer mastery of his tools by long practice. The book had a good sale from the first, although the contrary has been stated.

For the first edition of 'Esmond' Thackeray received 1, l. It was published by Messrs. George Smith of that firm, who became a warm friend for the rest of his life Mrs. Ritchie , Chapters , p. On 30 Oct. Reed, who has described their intercourse , Baltimore, Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah. He was received with the characteristic hospitality of Americans, and was thoroughly pleased with the people, making many friends in the southern as well as in the northern states—a circumstance which probably affected his sympathies during the subsequent civil war.

He returned in the spring of with about 2, l. Soon after his return he stayed three weeks in London, and, after spending a month with the Smyths, went with his children to Switzerland. There, as he says The Newcomes , last chapter , he strayed into a wood near Berne, where the story of 'The Newcomes' was 'revealed to him somehow. For 'The Newcomes' he apparently received 4, l. It was again published in numbers, and was illustrated by his friend Richard Doyle [q. Thackeray was now living at 36 Onslow Square, to which he had moved from Young Street in At Christmas Thackeray went with his daughters to Rome.

There, to amuse some children, he made the drawings which gradually expanded into the delightful burlesque of 'The Rose and the Ring,' published with great success in The last number of 'The Newcomes' appeared in August , and in October Thackeray started for a second lecturing tour in the United States. Sixty of his friends gave him a farewell dinner 11 Oct. The Georges, however, had been dead for some time. On this occasion his tour extended as far as New Orleans.

An attempt on his return journey to reproduce the 'English Humorists' in Philadelphia failed owing to the lateness of the season. Thackeray said that he could not bear to see the 'sad, pale-faced young man' who had lost money by undertaking the speculation, and left behind him a sum to replace what had been lost. He returned to England in April The lectures upon the Georges were repeated at various places in England and Scotland.

He received from thirty to fifty guineas a lecture Pollock , Reminiscences , ii. Although they have hardly the charm of the more sympathetic accounts of the 'humorists,' they show the same qualities of style, and obtained general if not equal popularity. Thackeray's hard struggle, which had brought fame and social success, had also enabled him to form a happier home.

His children had lived with him from ; but while they were in infancy the house without a mistress was naturally grave and quiet. Thackeray had the strongest love of all children, and was a most affectionate father to his own. He did all that he could to make their lives bright. He took them to plays and concerts, or for long drives into the country, or children's parties at the Dickenses' and elsewhere. They became known to his friends, grew up to be on the most easy terms with him, and gave him a happy domestic circle. She became a sister to his daughters, and in married his cousin, now Colonel Edward Talbot Thackeray, V.

His old college friend Brookfield was now settled as a clergyman in London, and had married a very charming wife. The published correspondence shows how much value Thackeray attached to this intimacy. Another dear friend was John Leech, to whom he was specially attached. He was also intimate with Richard Doyle and other distinguished artists, including Landseer and Mr.

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Another friend was Henry Thoby Prinsep [q. Herman Merivale [q. Merivale's memoir. Thackeray was specially kind to the younger members of his friends' families. He considered it to be a duty to 'tip' schoolboys, and delighted in giving them holidays at the play. His old friendships with Monckton Milnes Lord Houghton , Venables, Kinglake, and many other wellknown men were kept up both at his clubs and at various social meetings. The Carlyles were always friendly, in spite of Carlyle's severe views of a novelist's vocation. Thackeray's time, however, was much taken up by lecturing and by frequent trips to the continent or various country places in search of relaxation.

His health was far from strong. On 11 Nov. This decline of health is probably to be traced in the comparative want of vigour of his next writings. Thackeray was always a decided liberal in politics, though never much interested in active agitation. He promised to vote for the ballot in extension of the suffrage, and was ready to accept triennial parliaments. His opponent was Mr. Edward afterwards Viscount Cardwell [q. Thackeray seems to have done better as a speaker than might have been expected, and Cardwell only won 21 July by a narrow majority—1, to 1, Thackeray had fought the contest with good temper and courtesy.

Cardwell a business which I am sure he understands better than I do. It embodied a few of his American recollections see Reed's Haud Immemor , and continued with less than the old force the history of the Esmond family. A careful account of the genealologies in Thackeray's novels is given by Mr.

Gonner in 'Time' for pp. Thackeray told Motley that he contemplated a grand novel of the period of Henry V, in which the ancestors of all his imaginary families should be assembled, He mentions this scheme in a letter to FitzGerald in In June Edmund Yates [q. Yates, in answer, refused to accept Thackeray's account of the article or to make any apology. Thackeray then laid the matter before the committee of the Garrick Club, of which both he and Yates were members, on the ground that Yates's knowledge was only derived from meetings at the club. A general meeting of the club in July passed resolutions calling upon Yates to apologise under penalty of further action.

Dickens warmly took Yates's part. Yates afterwards disputed the legality of the club's action, and counsel's opinion was taken on both sides.

The History of Pendennis

In November Dickens offered to act as Yates's friend in a conference with a representative of Thackeray with a view to arranging 'some quiet accommodation. Nothing came of this. Yates had to leave the club, and he afterwards dropped the legal proceedings on the ground of their costliness. Thackeray's disgust will be intelligible to every one who holds that journalism is degraded by such personalities. He would have been fully justified in breaking off intercourse with a man who had violated the tacit code under which gentlemen associate.

He was, however, stung by his excessive sensibility into injudicious action. Yates, in a letter suppressed by Dickens's advice, had at first retorted that Thackeray in his youth had been equally impertinent to Bulwer and Lardner, and had caricatured members of the club in some of his fictitious characters. Thackeray's regrettable freedoms did not really constitute a parallel offence. But a recollection of his own errors might have suggested less vehement action. There was clearly much ground for Dickens's argument that the club had properly no right to interfere in the matter.

The most unfortunate result was an alienation between the two great novelists.


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Thackeray was no doubt irritated at Dickens's support of Yates, though it is impossible to accept Mr. Jeaffreson's view that jealousy of Dickens was at the bottom of this miserable affair. Though they had always been on terms of courtesy, they were never much attracted by each other personally.

Dickens did not care for Thackeray's later work. Thackeray, on the other hand, though making certain reserves, expressed the highest admiration of Dickens's work both in private and public, and recognised ungrudgingly the great merits which justified Dickens's wider popularity see e.

Thackeray's established reputation was soon afterwards recognised by a new position. With 'Macmillan's Magazine,' begun in the previous month, it set the new fashion of shilling magazines. The 'Cornhill' was illustrated, and attracted many of the rising artists of the day. Thackeray's editorship gave it prestige, and the first numbers had a sale of over a hundred thousand. His acquaintance with all men of literary mark enabled him to enlist some distinguished contributors; Tennyson among others, whose 'Tithonus' first appeared in the second number.

One of the first contributors was Anthony Trollope, to whom Thackeray had made early application. He was pained by the necessity of rejecting articles from poor authors who had no claim but poverty, and by having to refuse his friends—such as Mrs. Browning and Trollope himself—from deference to absurd public prejudices. An editor no doubt requires on occasion thickness of skin if not hardness of heart. Trollope, however, makes the more serious complaint that Thackeray was unmethodical and given to procrastination. As a criticism of Thackeray's methods of writing, this of course tells chiefly against the critic.

Trollope's amusing belief in the virtues of what he calls 'elbow-grease' is characteristic of his own methods of production. But an editor is certainly bound to be businesslike, and Thackeray no doubt had shortcomings in that direction. Manuscripts were not considered with all desirable punctuality and despatch.

His health made the labour trying; and in April he retired from the editorship, though continuing to contribute up to the last. His last novels appeared in the magazine. The 'Adventures of Philip' followed from January till August , continuing the early 'Shabby-Genteel Story,' and again containing much autobiographical material.

In these, as in the 'Virginians,' it is generally thought that the vigour shown in their predecessors has declined, and that the tendency to discursive moralising has been too much indulged. His most characteristic contributions, however, were the 'Roundabout Papers,' which began in the first number, and are written with the ease of consummate mastery of style. They are models of the essay which, without aiming at profundity, gives the charm of playful and tender conversation of a great writer. In Thackeray built a house at 2 Palace Green, Kensington, upon which is now placed the commemorative tablet of the Society of Arts.

It is a red-brick house in the style of the Queen Anne period, to which he was so much attached; and was then, as he told an American friend, the 'only one of its kind' in London Stoddard , p. The 'house-warming' took place on 24 and 25 Feb. Thackeray himself only appeared at the end as a clerical father to say in pantomime 'Bless you, my children! His friends thought that the house was too large for his means; but he explained that it would be, as in fact it turned out to be, a good investment for his children. His income from the 'Cornhill Magazine' alone was about 4, l.

Thackeray had appeared for some time to be older than he really was, an effect partly due perhaps to his hair, originally black, having become perfectly white. His friends, however, had seen a change, and various passages in his letters show that he thought of himself as an old man and considered his life to be precarious. In December he was unwell, but attended the funeral of a relative, Lady Rodd, on the 21st. Feeling ill on the 23rd with one of his old attacks, he retired at an early hour, and next morning was found dead, the final cause being an effusion into the brain.

Few deaths were received with more general expressions of sorrow. He was buried at Kensal Green on 30 Dec. A subscription, first suggested by Shirley Brooks, provided for a bust by Marochetti in Westminster Abbey. Thackeray left two daughters: Anne Isabella, now Mrs. Richmond Ritchie; and Harriet Marian, who in married Mr.

Leslie Stephen, and died 28 Nov. Nothing need be said here of Thackeray's place in English literature, which is discussed by all the critics. In any case, he is one of the most characteristic writers of the first half of the Victorian period. His personal character is indicated by his life. In later years it produced some foibles, the more visible to his contemporaries because he seems to have been at once singularly frank in revealing his feelings to congenial friends, and reticent or sarcastic to less congenial strangers. His constitutional indolence and the ironical view of life which made him a humorist disqualified him from being a prophet after the fashion of Carlyle.

The author of 'a novel without a hero' was not a 'hero-worshipper. If naturally indolent, he worked most energetically and under most trying conditions through many years full of sorrow and discouragement. The loss of his fortune and the ruin of his domestic happiness stimulated him to sustained and vigorous efforts. He worked, as he was bound to work, for money, and took his place frankly as a literary drudge. He slowly forced his way to the front, helping his comrades liberally whenever occasion offered.

Trollope only confirms the general testimony by a story of his ready generosity Trollope , p. He kept all his old friends; he was most affectionate to his mother, and made a home for her in later years; and he was the tenderest and most devoted of fathers. His 'social success' never distracted him from his home duties, and he found his chief happiness in his domestic affections.

The superficial weakness might appear in society, and a man with so keen an eye for the weaknesses of others naturally roused some resentment. But the moral upon which Thackeray loved to insist in his writings gives also the secret which ennobled his life. But to him the really valuable element of life was in the simple and tender affections which do not flourish in the world.

During his gallant struggle against difficulties he emphasised the satirical vein which is embodied with his greatest power in 'Barry Lyndon' and 'Vanity Fair. Thackeray was 6 feet 3 inches in height.


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His appearance was made familiar by many caricatures introduced by himself as illustrations of his own works and in 'Punch. Devile Mrs. Ritchie: replica in National Portrait Gallery.

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Two drawings by Maclise dated and Garrick Club. Another drawing by Maclise of about was engraved from a copy made by Thackeray himself for the 'Orphan of Pimlico. Two chalk drawings by Samuel Laurence, the first in , a full face, engraved in by Francis Hall, and a profile, reading. Laurence made several replicas of the last after Thackeray's death, one of which is in the National Portrait Gallery. Laurence also painted a posthumous portrait for the Reform Club. Portrait of Thackeray, in his study at Onslow Square in , by E.

Ward Mr. Walker—a back view of Thackeray, done to show the capacity of the then unknown artist to illustrate for the 'Cornhill—belong to Mrs. The bust by Marochetti in Westminster Abbey is not thought to be satisfactory as a likeness. A statuette by Edgar Boehm was begun in from two short sittings.

It was finished after Thackeray's death, and is considered to be an excellent likeness. Many copies were sold, and two were presented to the Garrick Club and the Athenaeum. A bust by Joseph Durham was presented to the Garrick Club by the artist in ; and a terra-cotta replica from the original plaster mould is in the National Portrait Gallery.

A bust by J. For further details see article by F. Kitton in the 'Magazine of Art' for July Thackeray's works as independently published are: 1. Morton from sketches by Thackeray , fol. Titmarsh, 2 vols. Sketches by Spec. Facsimile by Autotype Company from unique copy belonging to Mr. Michael Angelo Titmarsh,' 2 vols. Titmarsh,' 12mo, Perkins's Ball, by M. Titmarsh,' 4to, Christmas, Birch and his Young Friends, by Mr.

Titmarsh,' 16mo, Christmas, Doyle, 8vo, Christmas, ; enlarged from 'Proposals for a continuation of "Ivanhoe"' in 'Fraser,' August and September, Marvy, with short notices by W. Thackeray,' fol. Titmarsh,' 4to, ; 2nd edit, with preface 5 Jan. Doyle twenty-four monthly numbers from October to August Titmarsh,' 8vo, , illustrated by the author. Thackeray, with some Notes by A.

William Makepeace Thackeray: A Brief Biography

Thackeray,' 4to, Thackeray while at Cambridge,' No dustwrappers, red cloth with WT logo in gilt. Some wear, ageing but binding sound; good to very good overall. Other miscellanies scattered througout the other 12 volumes. More information and photos on request. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 6. Condition: Very Good. Complete in 13 volumes. Bound in original publishers red cloth, with gilt title lettering, gilt initial on top boards, coloured endpapers. Cloth lightly rubbed, spines faded. All bindings in very good clean firm condition.

Internally, neat previous owners name in each volume, dated Pages in very good clean condition. A very nice clean set. Size: 8vo. More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Complete set of 13 vols. Publisher's vertical ribbed red cloth, gilt, teg, other edges uncut, many pages unopened. Each volume has a detailed biographical introduction consisting of between 20 and 60 pages, with numerous illustrations, by his daughter Anne Ritchie.

Light fading to spines, else a very attractive, clean set. Very heavy, extra postage will be required. Please ask for a quote before ordering. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. Item added to your basket View basket. Proceed to Basket. View basket. Continue shopping. Title: biographical edition complete works. Results 1 - 9 of 9.

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