William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-63)
The wicked are wicked, no doubt, and they go astray and they fall, and they come by their deserts; but who can tell the mischief which the very virtuous do? (The Newcomes ch. 20)
To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forgo even ambition when the end is gained--who can say this is not greatness? (The Virginians ch. 92)
Thackeray Web Sites
- Brief Record Display
- Chronicle of the Drum (e-text)
- Creative Quotations from William Makepeace Thackeray
- Penn State's Electronic Classics Series William Makepeace Thackeray Page
- Project Gutenberg
- Selected Letters of William Makepeace Thackeray
- Selected Works
- Thackeray and Dickens
- William Makepeace Thackeray: A Brief Biography (Robert Fletcher)
- Vanity Fair
- William "Snob" Makepeace Thackeray
- Born July 18 in Calcutta.
- Death of father.
- Sent to school in England.
- Attends Charterhouse School, London.
- Enters Trinity College, Cambridge.
- Leaves Cambridge and travels in Germany.
- Studies law in London.
- Loss of inheritance.
- Studies art in Paris.
- Marries Isabella Shawe in Paris; first article appears in The Constitutional.
- Moves to London where begins to write for Fraser's Magazine and where daughter, Anne, is born.
- The Yellowplush Correspondence in Fraser's.
- Catherine in Fraser's.
- First book published in England, The Paris Sketch Book; A Shabby Genteel Story appears in Fraser's. Daughter, Harriet Marian (Minny) born; Isabella Thackeray suffers the nervous collapse that leads to permanent insanity.
- The Great Hoggarty Diamond in Fraser's; 2-volume collection of Comic Tales and Sketches.
- First contribution to Punch.
- The Irish Sketch Book.
- The Luck of Barry Lyndon in Fraser's. Tour of Mediterranean and Mideast.
- Notes of a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo. Daughters join Thackeray in London.
- The Snobs of England (Punch), retitled The Book of Snobs in book form (1848).
- Punch's Prize Novelists (retitled Novels by Eminent Hands in book form, 1856).
- Vanity Fair (January 1847--July 1848).
- Friendship with Jane Brookfield, wife of the Reverend William Brookfield, deepens.
- The History of Pendennis (November 1848--December 1850).
- Rebecca and Rowena.
- Lectures on humorists of eighteenth century in London (published as The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century in 1853). Break with Jane Brookfield.
- The History of Henry Esmond.
- First American tour.
- The Rose and the Ring.
- Second American tour, lectures on the Hanoverian kings (published as The Four Georges in 1860).
- Runs unsuccessfully for the Oxford seat in Parliament.
- The Virginians (November 1857--October 1859).
- Editor of Cornhill Magazine.
- Lovel the Widower in Cornhill.
- Roundabout Papers in Cornhill.
- Begins Denis Duval (unfinished, published posthumously in Cornhill in 1864).
- Dies December 24 in London.
This extract is taken from Ina Ferris, William Makepeace Thackeray [Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1983]
Last updated: 13 January 1998.
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