William Makepeace Thackeray Biography | Author of Vanity Fair

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William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India, on July 18, 1811, the only child of English parents. His father, Richmond, worked for the East India Company until he died four years after William's birth.

At the age of six, William was sent to a boarding school in England while his mother, Anne Becher Thackeray, remained in India. Unsurprisingly, the young child was lonely and unhappy. In 1819, his mother remarried and returned to England where she and her new husband were able to give him the family life for which he longed.

Thackeray attended Charterhouse School and went on to Cambridge University's Trinity College but did not earn a degree. He studied art in Paris and later illustrated many of his written works, including Vanity Fair. It was in Paris that Thackeray met and married Isabella Shawe, an Irish woman. They soon moved back to London where Thackeray launched his...

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Vanity Fair from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.