* illustrated with hundreds of images, relating to Thackeray’s life and works
* annotated with concise introductions to the novels and other texts
* images of how the monthly serials first appeared, giving your eReader a taste of the original Victorian texts
* ALL 12 novels, many with their original illustrations
* even includes the rare unfinished novel ‘A Shabby Genteel Story’
* also includes the rare novels ‘Lovel the Widower’, ‘Adventures of Philip’ and the unfinished novel ‘Denis Duval’
* ALL of the short stories and novellas, with excellent formatting
* even INCLUDES Thackeray’s poetry, essays and Punch articles
* ALL of the travel writing and sketches, with many illustrations
* includes Trollope’s biography of Thackeray
* scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
* master table of contents to allow easy navigation around Thackeray’s immense oeuvre.
* includes Thackeray’s Collected Letters from 1847-1855
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A SHABBY GENTEEL STORY
THE LUCK OF BARRY LYNDON
THE HISTORY OF PENDENNIS
THE HISTORY OF HENRY ESMOND, ESQ.
THE ADVENTURES OF PHILIP
LOVEL THE WIDOWER
The Shorter Fiction
THE YELLOWPLUSH PAPERS
THE TREMENDOUS ADVENTURES OF MAJOR GAHAGAN
THE FATAL BOOTS
THE BEDFORD-ROW CONSPIRACY
THE HISTORY OF SAMUEL TITMARSH AND THE GREAT HOGGARTY DIAMOND
THE FITZ-BOODLE PAPERS
THE DIARY OF C. JEAMES DE LA PLUCHE, ESQ. WITH HIS LETTERS
A LEGEND OF THE RHINE
A LITTLE DINNER AT TIMMINS’S
REBECCA AND ROWENA
The Christmas Books
MRS. PERKINS’S BALL
DOCTOR BIRCH AND HIS YOUNG FRIENDS
THE KICKLEBURYS ON THE RHINE
THE ROSE AND THE RING
The Sketches and Satires
CONTRIBUTIONS TO “THE SNOB”
FLORE ET ZEPHYR
THE IRISH SKETCH BOOK
THE BOOK OF SNOBS
SOME ROUNDABOUT PAPERS
DICKENS IN FRANCE
SKETCHES AND TRAVELS IN LONDON
MR. BROWN’S LETTERS
THE WOLVES AND THE LAMB
LIST OF THE COMPLETE POETRY
The Travel Writing
NOTES OF A JOURNEY FROM CORNHILL TO GRAND CAIRO
THE PARIS SKETCH BOOK
LITTLE TRAVELS AND ROADSIDE SKETCHES
NOVELS BY EMINENT HANDS
THE HISTORY OF THE NEXT FRENCH REVOLUTION
THE SECOND FUNERAL OF NAPOLEON
JOHN LEECH’S PICTURES OF LIFE AND CHARACTER
THE ENGLISH HUMOURISTS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
THE FOUR GEORGES
A LECTURE ON “CHARITY AND HUMOUR”
VARIOUS ESSAYS, LETTERS, SKETCHES, ETC.
THE HISTORY OF DIONYSIUS DIDDLER.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO PUNCH
MISS TICKLETOBY’S LECTURES ON ENGLISH HISTORY
PAPERS BY THE FAT CONTRIBUTOR
MISCELLANEOUS CONTRIBUTIONS TO “PUNCH”
“SPEC” AND “PROSER” PAPERS
A PLAN FOR A PRIZE NOVEL
A COLLECTION OF LETTERS 1847-1855
THACKERAY BY ANTHONY TROLLOPE
In Memoriam W. M. Thackeray by Charles Dickens
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"Re-reading Vanity Fair, one realises what a brilliant innovation this was in the English novel," remarked V. S. Pritchett. "Thackeray is like the modern novelists who derive from James and Proust, in his power of dissecting (and of desiccating!) character."
Generally considered to be his masterpiece, Vanity Fair is Thackeray's resplendent social satire that exposes the greed and corruption raging in England during the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars. Subtitled "A Novel Without a Hero," it traces the changing fortunes of two unforgettable women: the scheming opportunist Becky Sharp—one of literature's most resourceful, engaging, and amoral heroines—and her foil, the faithful, naive Amelia Sedley. Thackeray's subversive, comic attack on the hypocrisy and "dismal roguery" of an avaricious world resonates 150 years later with implications for our own times.
"Thackeray is an urbane nineteenth-century guide and commentator in a portrait gallery that is for all time," observed Louis Auchincloss. "He is the restless inhabitant of a prudish age, nostalgic, discursive, anecdotal, sentimental, worldly-wise, now warning us, now making fun of us, now reproving us .... Thackeray's harshest criticism of humanity is simply the point where ours commences. His perception of self-interest in every act is the ABC of modem psychology."
Ruthless social climber and irrepressible anti-hero Becky Sharp will do anything to raise her position in Society, from impoverished orphan to woman of means. Clever, lively and resourceful, Becky is the total opposite of her naive and sentimental schoolmate Amelia Sedley, a pampered yet good-natured girl from a wealthy family.
As both women pursue love and life in London, against the background of the Napoleonic Wars, Thackeray paints a vivid portrait of decadent Regency England and satirises its corruption and flaws to delightful effect.
Set in the fictional countries of Paflagonia and Crim Tartary, the story revolves around the lives and fortunes of four young royal cousins, Princesses Angelica and Rosalba, and Princes Bulbo and Giglio. Each page is headed by a line of poetry summing up the plot at that point and the storyline as a whole is laid out, as the book states,
--Robert Louis Stevenson
"The lasting and universal popularity of The Three Musketeers shows that Dumas, by artlessly expressing his own nature in the persons of his heroes, was responding to that craving for action, strength and generosity which is a fact in all periods and all places."
'Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?'
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs only for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour of Regency society, battles - military and domestic - are fought, fortunes made and lost. The one steadfast and honourable figure in this corrupt world is Dobbin with his devotion to Amelia, bringing pathos and depth to Thackeray's gloriously satirical epic of love and social adventure.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Hailed as a literary masterpiece upon first publication, William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair has never waned in popularity and remains a highly entertaining satire of early nineteenth-century high society. This gorgeous edition includes an afterword by the prizewinning author and critic, Henry Hitchings.
Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector’s Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector’s Library are books to love and treasure.
That intelligent reader, with his hand following the line as he read it out to his audience, was saying:—"And—now—Tom—coming up smiling—after his fall—dee—delivered a rattling clinker upon the Benicia Boy's—potato-trap—but was met by a—punisher on the nose—which," &c. &c.; or words to that effect. Betty at 52 let me in, while the boy was reading his lecture and, having been some twenty minutes or so in the house and paid my visit, I took leave.
The little lecturer was still at work on the 51 doorstep, and his audience had scarcely changed their position. Having read every word of the battle myself in the morning, I did not stay to listen further; but if the gentleman who expected his paper at the usual hour that day experienced delay and a little disappointment I shall not be surprised.
I am not going to expatiate on the battle. I have read in the correspondent's letter of a Northern newspaper, that in the midst of the company assembled the reader's humble servant was present, and in a very polite society, too, of "poets, clergymen, men of letters, and members of both Houses of Parliament." If so, I must have walked to the station in my sleep, paid three guineas in a profound fit of mental abstraction, and returned to bed unconscious, for I certainly woke there about the time when history relates that the fight was over. I do not know whose colors I wore—the Benician's, or those of the Irish champion; nor remember where the fight took place, which, indeed, no somnambulist is bound to recollect. Ought Mr. Sayers to be honored for being brave, or punished for being naughty? By the shade of Brutus the elder, I don't know....
Chapter I. THE SNOB PLAYFULLY DEALT WITH
Chapter II. THE SNOB ROYAL
Chapter III. THE INFLUENCE OF THE ARISTOCRACY ON SNOBS
Chapter IV. THE COURT CIRCULAR, AND ITS INFLUENCE ON SNOBS
Chapter V. WHAT SNOBS ADMIRE
Chapter VI. ON SOME RESPECTABLE SNOBS
Chapter VII. ON SOME RESPECTABLE SNOBS
Chapter VIII. GREAT CITY SNOBS
Chapter IX. ON SOME MILITARY SNOBS
Chapter X. MILITARY SNOBS
Chapter XI. ON CLERICAL SNOBS
Chapter XII. ON CLERICAL SNOBS AND SNOBBISHNESS
Chapter XIII. ON CLERICAL SNOBS
Chapter XIV. ON UNIVERSITY SNOBS
Chapter XV. ON UNIVERSITY SNOBS
Chapter XVI. ON LITERARY SNOBS
Chapter XVII. A LITTLE ABOUT IRISH SNOBS
Chapter XVIII. PARTY-GIVING SNOBS
Chapter XIX. DINING-OUT SNOBS
Chapter XX. DINNER-GIVING SNOBS FURTHER CONSIDERED
Chapter XXI. SOME CONTINENTAL SNOBS
Chapter XXII. CONTINENTAL SNOBBERY CONTINUED
Chapter XXIII. ENGLISH SNOBS ON THE CONTINENT
Chapter XXIV. ON SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXV. A VISIT TO SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXVI. ON SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXVII. A VISIT TO SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXVIII. ON SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXIX. A VISIT TO SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXX. ON SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXXI. A VISIT TO SOME COUNTRY SNOBS
Chapter XXXII. SNOBBIUM GATHERUM
Chapter XXXIII. SNOBS AND MARRIAGE
Chapter XXXIV. SNOBS AND MARRIAGE
Chapter XXXV. SNOBS AND MARRIAGE
Chapter XXXVI. SNOBS AND MARRIAGE
Chapter XXXVII. CLUB SNOBS
Chapter XXXVIII. CLUB SNOBS
Chapter XXXIX. CLUB SNOBS
Chapter XL. CLUB SNOBS
Chapter XLI. CLUB SNOBS
Chapter XLII. CLUB SNOBS
Chapter XLIII. CLUB SNOBS
Chapter XLIV. CLUB SNOBS
CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS ON SNOBS
In the number of FRASER'S MAGAZINE for January 1844 appeared the first instalment of 'THE LUCK OF BARRY LYNDON, ESQ., A ROMANCE OF THE LAST CENTURY, by FitzBoodle,' and the story continued to appear month by month--with the exception of October--up to the end of the year, when the concluding portion was signed 'G. S. FitzBoodle.' FITZBOODLE'S CONFESSIONS, it should be added, had appeared occasionally in the magazine during the years immediately precedent, so that the pseudonym was familiar to FRASER'S readers. The story was written, according to its author's own words, 'with a great deal of dulness, unwillingness and labour,' and was evidently done as the instalments were required, for in August he wrote 'read for "B. L." all the morning at the club,' and four days later of '"B. L." lying like a nightmare on my mind.' The journey to the East--which was to give us in literary results NOTES OF A JOURNEY FROM CORNHILL TO GRAND CAIRO--was begun with BARRY LYNDON yet unfinished, for at Malta the author noted on the first three days of November--'Wrote Barry but slowly and with great difficulty.' 'Wrote Barry with no more success than yesterday.' 'Finished Barry after great throes late at night.' In the number of Fraser's for the following month, as I have said, the conclusion appeared. A dozen years later, in 1856, the story formed the first part of the third volume of Thackeray's MISCELLANIES, when it was called MEMOIRS OF BARRY LYNDON, ESQ., WRITTEN BY HIMSELF. Since then, it has nearly always been issued with other matter, as though it were not strong enough to stand alone, or as though the importance of a work was mainly to be gauged by the number of pages to be crowded into one cover. The scheme of the present edition fortunately allows fitting honour to be done to the memoirs of the great adventurer.
The novel is a satire of society as a whole, characterized by hypocrisy and opportunism, but it is not a reforming novel; there is no suggestion that social or political changes, or greater piety and moral reformism could improve the nature of society. It thus paints a fairly bleak view of the human condition. This bleak portrait is continued with Thackeray's own role as an omniscient narrator, one of the writers best known for using the technique. He continually offers asides about his characters and compares them to actors and puppets, but his scorn goes even as far as his readers; accusing all who may be interested in such "Vanity Fairs" as being either "of a lazy, or a benevolent, or a sarcastic mood".