Gordon N. Ray (collected & edited by)

The Letters and Private Papers of William Makepeace Thackeray (In 4 Volumes: Volume I, 1817 to 1840. Volume II, 1841 to 1851. Volume III, 1852 to 1856. Volume IV, 1857 to 1863.)

Published: Oxford University Press

Date: 1945

These volumes, published eighty years after Thackeray's death, form the first collected edition of his correspondence. Such apparent neglect of an important part of the production of a writer who throughout this period has enjoyed the devotion of the general reader as well as the good word of the critics cannot be attributed to a want of interest in his letters, which have long had their niche among the classics of epistolary literature. It derives instead from Thackeray's injunction to his older daughter that no life be written of him, a prohibition that she inevitably extended to his letters as the indispensable foundation of intimate biography. Though Lady Ritchie, as we shall see, was at last constrained by the flood of uninformed and misleading print about her father to relax the restriction he had placed upon her, only a small part of his correspondence was printed while she lived. Her children, Mrs. Richard Fuller and Mr. W. T. D. Ritchie, have come to feel that Thackeray now belongs to literature rather than to his family; and wishing to dispel the cloud of mystery that has made him seem the most enigmatic personality among the great Victorians, they have sought by authorizing this comprehensive collection of his letters to "pour on misty doubt resistless day."

Very Good Condition

Hardcover (Original Cloth)


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