'Vanity Fair', published in serial parts in 1847-8, made William Makepeace Thackeray famous. Behind him lay an extraordinary life, an intense, Anglo-Indian childhood, dominated by the figure of his mother; a fortune lost by his early twenties; a disastrous marriage to a wife who went mad and left him to bring up their two small daughters in near penury.
Thackeray's early career was a struggle. But this incisive biography shows his later life was no less troubled. A tortuous, platonic love affair with the wife of one of his oldest friends, bitter literary quarrels with eminent Victorians, an obsession with earning enough to keep his family after his death - all these combined to produce a complex, touchy man, acutely sensitive to criticism and fearful of the publicity that accompanied his passage through early-Victorian literary life. Worn out by work and beset by illness, he died at 42, sadly aware that, brilliant as they were, the great novels of his maturity - 'Pendennis', 'The History Of Henry Esmond' and 'The Newcomes' - could never scale the awesome peak claimed by 'Vanity Fair'.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 12 / 2000
- 151 x 232mm