The Newcomes is Thackeray's most "Victorian" novel, generous in its proportions, sharp in its criticism of the morality of the age, and encyclopedic in its reference. Set in the 1830s and 1840s, a period of rapid change and of political and economic development, the novel considers the fortunes and misfortunes of a respectable extended middle-class family. At its center is Thomas Newcome, whose distinctive but old-fashioned gentlemanliness stands from the self-seeking society in which he lives. The most observant and witty of Thackeray's novels, The Newcomes is also among his most complex and allusive, and this edition provides full and detailed notes that clarify many of his references.
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