Ballads, Critical Reviews, Tales, Various Essays, Letters, Sketches, Etc

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 560 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1899 edition. Excerpt: ...its own, pleasanter, truer, and more lasting than the intoxication of sparkling satire; above all, one rises the next morning without fever or headache, and without the dim and frightful consciousness of having broken somebody's undeserving bones in a frolic, while under the satirical frenzy. You are grown mild--we are all grown mild. I saw Morgan Rattler going home with a wooden horse for his little son. Men aud fathers, we can assault men and fathers no more. Besides, a truth dawns upon the mature mind, which may thus be put by interrogation Because a critic, deeming A and B to be blockheads for whom utter destruction is requisite, forthwith sets to work to destroy them is it clear that the public are interested in that work of demolition and that they admire the critic hugely for his pains? At my present mature age, I am inclined to think that the nation does not much care for this sort of executiveness; and that it looks upon the press-Mohawks (this is not the least personal) as it did upon the gallant young noblemen who used a few years since to break the heads of policemen, and paint apothecaries' shops pea-green, --with amusement, perhaps, but with anything but respect and liking. And as those young noblemen, recognising the justice of public opinion, have retired to their estates, which they are now occupied peacefully in administering and improving, so have the young earls and marquesses of the court of Regina of Regent Street calmly subsided into the tillage of the pleasant fields of literature, and the cultivation of the fresh green crops of goodhumoured thought. My little work on the differential calculus, for instance, is in a most advanced state; and you will correct me if I break a confidence in saying, that your translation of the...

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About the author (2009)

William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India, where his father was in service to the East India Company. After the death of his father in 1816, he was sent to England to attend school. Upon reaching college age, Thackeray attended Trinity College, Cambridge, but he left before completing his degree. Instead, he devoted his time to traveling and journalism. Generally considered the most effective satirist and humorist of the mid-nineteenth century, Thackeray moved from humorous journalism to successful fiction with a facility that was partially the result of a genial fictional persona and a graceful, relaxed style. At his best, he held up a mirror to Victorian manners and morals, gently satirizing, with a tone of sophisticated acceptance, the inevitable failure of the individual and of society. He took up the popular fictional situation of the young person of talent who must make his way in the world and dramatized it with satiric directness in The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844), with the highest fictional skill and appreciation of complexities inherent within the satiric vision in his masterpiece, Vanity Fair (1847), and with a great subtlety of point of view and background in his one historical novel, Henry Esmond (1852). Vanity Fair, a complex interweaving in a vast historical panorama of a large number of characters, derives its title from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and attempts to invert for satirical purposes, the traditional Christian image of the City of God. Vanity Fair, the corrupt City of Man, remains Thackeray's most appreciated and widely read novel. It contrasts the lives of two boarding-school friends, Becky Sharp and Amelia Smedley. Constantly attuned to the demands of incidental journalism and his sense of professionalism in his relationship with his public, Thackeray wrote entertaining sketches and children's stories and published his humorous lectures on eighteenth-century life and literature. His own fiction shows the influence of his dedication to such eighteenth-century models as Henry Fielding, particularly in his satire, which accepts human nature rather than condemns it and takes quite seriously the applicability of the true English gentleman as a model for moral behavior. Thackeray requested that no authorized biography of him should ever be written, but members of his family did write about him, and these accounts were subsequently published.

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