Home Information Contents Search Links

Thackeray, William Makepeace

A man of admirable sense, I assure you.
HENRY FIELDING, Love in Several Masques,
Act I, scene 4

William Makepeace Thackeray was born July 18, 1811, in Calcutta, India, the son of Richmond Thackeray, who was in the India Civil Service, and his wife Anne Becher. His father died in 1816, and the next year William was sent home to England to be educated. He lived mostly with his aunt, a Mrs. Ritchie, of Chiswick. Here he was sent to school until 1822, when his mother and her second husband returned from India, and he went to Charterhouse until 1828. He spent one year, 1829-30, at Cambridge. Afterwards he traveled on the Continent, tried the law, then art. In 1836 he married Isabella Gethen Creagh Shawe, who after 1840 was insane. Thackeray's fortune having been spent, he took to writing and contributed to The Times and to Erasers Magazine. He was connected with Punch for about ten years, and for two years was editor of the Cornhill Magazine. He made two lecture tours to America, and died December 24, 1863.

REFERENCES: L. Melville, The Life of William Makepeace Thackeray; H. Taylor, Thackeray the Humorist and the Man of Letters; William Hunter, The Thackerays in India.

Fireside Library. No. 115
Waverley Library (quarto). Nos. 105, 122, 228

   Go BACK to where you came from