"I do not say there is no character as well drawn in Shakespeare [as D'Artagnan]. I do say there is none that I love so wholly." --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." --Andreé Maurois
About the author
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY was born in India to a long line of Yorkshire gentry recently mixed with equally ancient gentry. In 1817, two years after the death of his father a prosperous official of the East India Company, the boy was sent back to England. There he underwent the proper education of a young gentleman, including rounds of laziness and dissipation at Cambridge, where he made the acquaintance of Tennyson and other notables, and later at the Middle Temple.
He next crossed to Paris, where he studied art and made a love match with Isabella Shawe, whom he married in 1836, overcoming strong maternal resistence. The couple returned to London, where Thackeray embarked on ten years as a journalistic hack-of-all-trades. Meanwhile, two daughters were born and lived, Anne (1837) and Minny (1840), but one, Jane (1838) died after eight months. The serial publication of VANITY FAIR in 1847-48 ended Thackeray's days as a minor journalist and he went on to become the author of miscellaneous satires and reviews, including essays, lectures, and seven novels. After a period of deteriorating health, Thackeray died during the early hours of December 24th, 1863.
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