William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta in July 1811. Though he was never keen in academics, Thackeray had the benefits of Charterhouse and Cambridge. He began writing and turned to journalism to support his family. He produced art criticisms and fictional works for Fraser’s Magazine, reviewed books for the Times and was a regular contributor to the Morning Chronicle and the Foreign Quarterly Review. Thackeray worked as a journalist throughout his life.
His success as a novelist began with the publication of Vanity Fair (1847-48) when he was thirty-six. The novel is a brilliant satire on the nineteenth-century English society. In the decade following the publication of Vanity Fair, Thackeray published a number of works including Pendennis (1848-50), the History of Henry Esmond (1852), the Newcomes (1855), the Rose and the Ring (1855) and the Virginians (1857-59). A historical novel, the Virginians was his last considerable novel.
Thackeray suffered a stroke and was found dead in his bed on the morning of December 24, 1863. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery on December 29.