W.M. Thackeray and "Vanity Fair"
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 - 1863) was born to a prosperous middle-class family in India His father was an English official in Calcutta. After his father's death, when the boy was 3 years old, he was brought to England to be educated at school and later at Cambridge University. Being a student, William devoted much time to drawing cartoons and writing verses, chiefly parodies. He couldn't bear the scholastic atmosphere of the University, and as his ambition was to become an artist, he left the University without graduating and went to Germany, Italy and France to study art. On returning to London he began a law course in 1833 to complete his education. Soon the Indian bank where his father's money was invested, went bankrupt, and William was left penniless. That's why he was obliged to drop his studies to earn his living. He took up journalism as a profession and as he himself illustrated his humorous articles, essays, reviews and short stories, they were in great demand In 1836 he married Isabella Shawe and after that their three daughters were born Thackeray's married life wasn't happy as his wife fell ill and the illness affected her mind Thackeray gave up his business and for a long time tried his best to relieve his wife's sufferings and make her life comfortable, but she never regained her health. In the end an old lady began to take care of her. Isabella outlived her husband by many years. William Makepeace Thackeray is a representative of Critical, Realism in the English literature of the 19th century. In his novels Thackeray gives a vivid description of both middle class and aristocratic society, their mode of life, manners, and tastes. He exposes their pride and tyranny, their hypocrisy and snobbishness, their selfishness and wickedness. His keen insight into human nature gives Thackeray an analytical and satirical quality which found its expression in the portrayal of his characters. Thackeray's criticism is...
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