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literatim, correcting in my own Notes at the rear of the book errors that occur in the text and foot-notes of the Biographical Edition, and pointing out important variations from the text of the first edition. And the receipt of corrections of my own errors will be gratefully and promptly acknowledged.
For furnishing some references in the Notes, I wish to express my thanks to Professor H. P. Wright, Professor T. D. Goodell, Professor W. L. Cross, and Mr. Richard Holbrook, all of Yale, and to Professor G. L. Kittredge, of Harvard.
W. L. P. YALE COLLEGE, II June 1900.
After this book was entirely cast and ready for publication, I came across, in the library of the British Museum, the following work: “ Thackeray's Lectures on the English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century. Mit bibliographischen Material, litterarischer Einleitung und sachlichen Anmerkungen für Studierende. Herausgegeben von Ernst Regel. Halle: Max Niemeyer. 1885–1891." [In six parts, 8°, paper.] I greatly regret that this valuable work did not come to my notice in time to be of assistance.
W. L. P. LONDON, 19 July, 1900.
THE LIFE OF THACKERAY *
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY was born at Calcutta, on the eighteenth of July, 1811. His father, Richmond Thackeray, went to India in the service of the East India Company, in 1798. He was married at Calcutta to Anne Becher, in 1810; and the great novelist was their only child. In 1816 Mr. Thackeray died, and the following year the boy was sent to England, the ship stopping at St. Helena on the way, where a glimpse of Napoleon was obtained. Thackeray first went to school in Hampshire, then at Chiswick,
* The facts given in this sketch are chiefly taken from the Dic. tionary of National Biography, though the Life by Merivale & Marzials, in the “Great Writers ” Series, and the biography in two volumes by Lewis Melville (1899), have of course been consulted. Mrs. Ritchie's Introductions to the Biographical Edition of Thackeray's Works are invaluable for their biographical data and bits of personal information. In her Introduction to the Esmond volume will be found some information about the lectures on the Humourists; and at the close of the last volume, Ballads and Miscellanies, there is a Bibliography of Thackeray's Works.
and from 1822 to 1828 he was at the Charterhouse. Here his schoolmate Venables broke his nose in a fight, and left an equally indelible impression on his mind, for the two became friends for life. Thackeray showed no particular ability in scholarship while at school, but even then exercised his talents at playful composition in verse.
After leaving the Charterhouse in 1828, he lived with his mother and stepfather near Ottery-St.-Mary, in Devonshire, the birthplace of Coleridge. The memories of these days appear in Pendennis. In February, 1829, he went to Cambridge, entering Trinity College. The social life of the place was what chiefly appealed to. him. Mathematics he did not like, and he was but illy prepared in the classics.
He did some desultory writing for the college paper, the most notable attempt being his parody of Tennyson's prize poem, Timbuctoo. In 1830 he left Cambridge, feeling that the training he received there was not of much practical value. From his father he inherited about twenty thousand pounds, and not wishing to become a lawyer, which profession his relatives advised him to enter, and probably in a rather undecided frame of mind as to his future, he set forth on his travels.
In this year he went to Weimar, the home of Goethe, where he stayed for some time. These must have been some of the most pleasant months of his life. He met the great poet, studied German, tried his hand at translations, and drew caricatures for amusement. Finally making up his mind after all to study law, he returned to England in 1831, and entered the Middle