William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India, on July 18, 1811, into a wealthy English merchant family. His father, Richmond Thackeray, an officer in the East India Company, died in 1815, and the following year William was sent to England to live with his aunt at Chiswick. After his father’s death, William’s mother married an engineering officer named Major Carmichael Symth. She had been in love with him before she married Richmond Thackeray. Solace In Patterns William showed his talent for drawing at a very early age. He would draw caricatures of his relatives and send them to his mother through letters. Even at school, he used to draw pictures of his friends and teachers and his friends preserved those pictures all through their lives. Though his caricatures of his teachers got him into trouble sometime, he enjoyed his popularity in school due to his art. Otherwise, William was not much physically active as a boy due to his shortsightedness. Furthermore, he found solace in drawing, as he said later,' They are a great relief to my mind.'
William was given the 'education of a gentleman', at private boarding schools. He was sent to the Charterhouse School, where he was enrolled as a day-scholar. He led a rather lonely and miserable existence as a child. He wrote regularly to his mother and stepfather. In one of his letters, he wrote: "There are 370 in the school; I wish there were 369". This subtle post-script showed how utterly out of place he felt at the institution. The caning and other abuses he suffered at school became the basis for recollection in his essays, such as The Roundabout Papers, as well as episodes in his novels Vanity Fair and The Newcomes.
In 1820, William’s mother and stepfather Major Carmichael Symth joined him at Chiswick. The reunion of mother and child was very emotional. He got along well with Major Symth as well, he also addressed him 'father' later on. They met many times after that as he used to spend holidays with them. Thackeray based the character of Colonel Newcome on this respectable, unworldly gentleman. William later recalled the dry lessons in the classical languages that he was forced to learn and the debilitating effect it had on what he felt about classical literature. He developed a life-long dislike for classical literature. He relied on literary escapades on popular fictions of the day like Scott’s Heart of Midlothian or Pierce Egan’s Life in London. William was never an outstanding student but while at school he developed two habits that were to stay with him lifelong: sketching and reading novels. He also started working as an amateur theatre artist.
When he graduated from the Charterhouse school, he needed additional tutoring to prepare for Cambridge. He got this tutoring from Major Symth. He made many good acquaintances at Cambridge including Edward FitzGerald. Cambridge was full of distraction for the young man. Rowing was an official sport which the students enjoyed a lot but drinking and occasional illicit visits to London was also added to their list of recreation. William started his adventure in journalism at Cambridge. He started to enjoy writing as much as drawing.
From 1828 to 1830 he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. His tutor then was William Whewell (a philosopher of natural science), but Thackeray saw little of the don and spent his time at wine parties. Neither at Charterhouse nor at Cambridge did he distinguish himself as a scholar. In 1830, Thackeray left Cambridge without a degree. During 1831-33 he studied law at the Middle Temple, London. He attempted to develop his literary and artistic talents, first as the editor of a short–lived journal and subsequently as an art student in Paris. None of these worked out since he kept oscillating between various occupations that were temporary in nature. The trouble with Thackeray was that he could never settle for one
Реферат опубликован: 4/09/2007