The Life of A Literary Man

Unknown - 2001
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Vanity Fair first hit Victorian London in 1847, and the serialized novel established its author, William Makepeace Thackeray, as a serious literary challenge to his popular contemporary Charles Dickens. By then, the thirty-six-year-old Thackeray had survived a difficult Anglo-Indian childhood dominated by the figure of his mother; the loss of the fortune he had made in his early twenties; ten arduous years of hack work; and a disastrous marriage to the beautiful Isabelle Shaw, who went irreversibly mad and left him to parent alone, and in conditions near penury, two small daughters.Success, however, did not end Thackeray's troubles, as this incisive new biography by D. J. Taylor poignantly shows. Drawing on a variety of unpublished and little-known sources, and with a novelist's feel for the intricacies of character and relationships, Taylor explores Thackeray's anguished platonic love affair with the wife of one of his oldest friends, his bitter quarrels with more eminent Victorians, his obsession with earning enough money to maintain his family, and his failure to match the success of Vanity Fair with later novels like Pendennis and The History of Henry Esmond.Taylor's portrait of Thackeray -- as doting father, restive son, despairing husband, literary lion, rejected lover, and loyal friend -- is complex, and the narrative is compelling.
Publisher: New York : Carroll & Graf, 2001, c1999.
Edition: First Carroll & Graf edition
ISBN: 9780786709106
Branch Call Number: B THACKERA TAYLOR D
Characteristics: xv, 494 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm.


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