William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was an English novelist of the 19th century. He was famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair (1847), a panoramic portrait of English society. Thackeray began as a satirist and parodist, with a sneaking fondness for roguish upstarts like Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair, Barry Lyndon in Barry Lyndon (1844) and Catherine in Catherine (1839). In his earliest works, writing under such pseudonyms as Charles James Yellowplush, Michael Angelo Titmarsh and George Savage Fitz-Boodle, he tended towards the savage in his attacks on high society, military prowess, the institution of marriage and hypocrisy. His writing career really began with a series of satirical sketches now usually known as The Yellowplush Papers, which appeared in Fraser's Magazine beginning in 1837. Between May 1839 and February 1840, Fraser's published the work sometimes considered Thackeray's first novel, Catherine. His other works include: The Fitz-Boodle Papers (1842), Men's Wives (1842), The History of Pendennis (1848), The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., (1852), The Newcomes (1853) and The Rose and the Ring (1855).
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First published in 1844, The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. by Thackeray is a picaresque novel also known as The Luck of Barry Lyndon. It chronicles the life of impoverished Redmond Barry, an Irishman who wants to be an English aristocrat. An opportunist, rake, and gambler, he serves in the Seven Years War, first under the English flag and then, for money, in the Prussian Army. Continuing to play with his luck, he gains wealth in the beginning but eventually is punished for his many lovable imperfections.About the Author:
Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta. He studied at Cambridge, but, never a keen student, he left the University in 1830 to travel the continent. He began to study law but gave it up and squandered much of his inheritance on gambling and poor investments. He studied art in Paris, but he did not pursue that professionally either, except to illustrate his own novels.
He was a successful novelist, earning the adulation of the very people he satirized. His death at 53 was unexpected.
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1975. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1St Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140040064
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1975. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140040064
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