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Selected Poetry of William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Evenings we knew,
Happy as this;
Faces we miss,
Pleasant to see.
Kind hearts and true,
Gentle and just,
Peace to your dust!
We sing round the tree.
        (The Mahogany Tree)
  1. The Mahogany Tree
  2. Sorrows of Werther


Notes on Life and Works

Born July 18, 1811, in Calcutta, William Makepeace Thackeray was sent to England in 1817 at his father's death. He was educated at the Charterhouse School in England from 1822 to 1826 and attended Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1829-30 but left without graduating. At first unsuccessful as a journalist, Thackeray came into his own in writing for Fraser's Magazine, Punch, The Times and other journals, especially in serially publishing The Luck of Barry Lyndon under the pseudonym George Savage FitzBoodle. Thackeray soon starting publishing novels serially under his own name. He achieved fame with Vanity Fair (1847-48), Pendennis (1848-50), Henry Esmond (1852), The Newcomes (1853), and The Virginians (1857-59). The poems he wrote were jeux d'esprit and reflect his good-natured temperment. In his family life he was less lucky. He married Isabella Shawe, who bore him three daughters and then suffered a permanent mental collapse. Thackeray died on Christmas eve, December 24, 1863. The standard biography is by Gordon Ray, Thackeray, 2 vols. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955-58; PR 5631 .R33 St. Michael's College Library). For Thackeray's periodical contributions, see Edgar F. Harden's Checklist (Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria, 1996; Z 8869 H37 1996 Robarts Library).

Biographical information

Given name: William Makepeace
Family name: Thackeray
Birth date: 18 July 1811
Death date: 23 December 1863
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: Richmond Campbell Shakspear Thackeray
          mother: Anne Thackeray
          husband: Isabella Gethin Creagh Thackeray (from 20 August 1836)
          daughter: Anne Isabella Ritchie
          daughter: Harriet Marian Stephen
Languages
          English
          French
          German
Education
          School in Hampshire: 1817
          School kept by Dr. Turner at Chiswick
          Charterhouse: 1822 to May 1828
          Trinity College, Cambridge: February 1829
          Middle Temple: 1831
Politics: Liberal
Literary period: Victorian
Occupations
          Journalist
          Artist
          Lecturer
Residences
          13 Great Coram Street, London to 1843
          88 St. James's Street, London
          Calcutta: 18 July 1811
          Hampshire: 1817
          Larkbeare, Ottery St. Mary: 1828
          Paris: 1829
          Paris: 1834
          18 Albion Street, London: 1837
          27 Jermyn Street, London: 1843
          13 Young Street, London: 1846
          36 Onslow Square, London: 1853
          2 Palace Green, Kensington: 1861
Illness: Roman fever: 1853
Cause of death: Effusion into the brain
Buried at: Kensal Green
First RPO edition: 2000