WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY (1811-1863)
- Vanity fair
English novelist born in Calcutta in 1811. His parents returned to
England in 1817 and Thackeray was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College,
Cambridge. However, Thackeray became addicted to gambling and left Cambridge in
1830 without a degree and heavily in debt.
At first Thackeray tried to make a living as a painter but after
this ended in failure he turned to journalism. Thackeray moved to Paris where
he became the French correspondent for the radical newspaper, The
Constitutional. When The Constitutional ceased publication, Thackeray moved
back to England and began contributing articles to a wide variety of newspapers
and journals, including The Times, The Morning Chronicle, Fraser's Magazine and
Thackeray also began writing novels and in 1844 Fraser's Magazine
serialised Barry Lyndon. In 1847 Thackeray published his most famous novel,
Vanity Fair. This was followed by The History of Henry Esmond (1852), Newcomes
(1853) and The Virginians (1857).
Although a successful novelist, Thackeray continued to write
articles for journals such as Punch Magazine. In 1859 he became editor of the
Cornhill Magazine, a monthly literary journal published by George Smith.
William Makepeace Thackeray died in 1863.