Thackeray, William Makepeace (1811 - 1863)


Born July 18, 1811, in Calcutta, William Makepeace Thackeray was sent to England in 1817 at his father's death. He was educated at the Charterhouse School in England from 1822 to 1826 and attended Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1829-30 but left without graduating. At first unsuccessful as a journalist, Thackeray came into his own in writing for Fraser's Magazine, Punch, The Times and other journals, especially in serially publishing The Luck of Barry Lyndon under the pseudonym George Savage FitzBoodle. Thackeray soon starting publishing novels serially under his own name. He achieved fame with Vanity Fair (1847-48), Pendennis (1848-50), Henry Esmond (1852), The Newcomes (1853), and The Virginians (1857-59). The poems he wrote were jeux d'esprit and reflect his good-natured temperment. In his family life he was less lucky. He married Isabella Shawe, who bore him three daughters and then suffered a permanent mental collapse. Thackeray died on Christmas eve, December 24, 1863. The standard biography is by Gordon Ray, Thackeray, 2 vols. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955-58; PR 5631 .R33 St. Michael's College Library). For Thackeray's periodical contributions, see Edgar F. Harden's Checklist (Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria, 1996; Z 8869 H37 1996 Robarts Library).

Given Name: 
William Makepeace
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Birth Date: 
July 18, 1811
Death Date: 
December 23, 1863
Family Relations: 
father : Richmond Campbell Shakspear Thackeray
mother : Anne Thackeray
husband : Isabella Gethin Creagh Thackeray (from 20 Aug. 1836)
daughter : Anne Isabella Ritchie
daughter : Harriet Marian Stephen
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