Thackeray William 1811 - 1863 (52)

Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.


Vanity fair

“Be cautious then, young ladies; be wary how you engage. Be shy of loving frankly; never tell all you feel, or (a better way still), feel very little. See the consequences of being prematurely honest and confiding, and mistrust yourselves and everybody. Get yourselves married as they do in France, where the lawyers are the bridesmaids and confidantes. At any rate, never have any feelings which may make you uncomfortable, or make any promises which you cannot at any required moment command and withdraw. That is the way to get on, and be respected, and have a virtuous character in Vanity Fair.”

William Thackeray (1811-1863), was an English novelist, known mainly for his work “the vanity fair”. He was born in Calcutta, of the British -at that time- India, on July 18, 1811. His father who worked for the East India Company in India, died when William was 4 years old. At the age of 6, his mother sent him in a private boarding school in England while she stayed in India. He grew up without parents in schools that he hated, later he wrote satirical stories about it. In 1829 he enrolled in Cambridge; he quit a year later and began to travel in Europe. He returned to England and tried to study law, once again he abandoned his studies. Meanwhile he was writing and had published some articles and stories in university journals. When he turned 21, he came into his father's heritage. Part of the fortune was lost by the collapse of two English banks in India; the other part was wasted at partying, gambling and the financing of two newspapers in which most articles were written by him.

After his bankruptcy he went to Paris to study painting, there he met the daughter of an English colonel whom he married. They had 3 daughters and they lived happily until 1839 when their second baby daughter died. His wife suffered from a major depression, when he took her to a sea trip for cheering her up, she jumped into the ocean. She was saved just in time and she spent the rest of her life in and out of asylums. William was free from marital bonds and had several relationships in his life but never remarried. He made a poor living from writing in magazines and newspapers and in 1843 he had some success with two travel books. In 1846 he became more acclaimed with "The Book of Snobs", and in 1848 he published the "Vanity Fair" which made him famous and relieved him of his financial problems. After that work, he stayed "on top of the tree", as he was saying, for the rest of his life. He became a prominent guest in classy lounges and associated the good society he satirized in his books. At the same time wrote successful novels, traveled and lectured in America and England. On December 23, 1853, returning from a formal dinner, he suffered a heart attack and died in his bed while he was undressing. They found him next morning.