This book is part of a collection of the works of William Thackeray, published by MacMillan in the early 20th century.
William Thackeray (1811-63) began as a journalist and produced his first critique in 1837, and his first novel in 1841. His association with Punch began in 1842 and articles continued until 1854. In 1851 he gave a series of lectures on 'The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century' in cities around England and later the USA. This collection of potted biographies comprises Jonathan Swift; Congreve and Addison; Richard Steele; Prior, Gay and Pope; Hogarth, Smollet and Fielding; Sterne and Goldsmith. These seven lectures were delivered on Thackeray's American tour of 1852, but only the six lectures pertaining to English authors were published in England; the seventh - "Charity and Humour" - appeared here for the first time. These lectures were a great success with the Victorian public, and remain a witty, enjoyable and affectionate comment on the period by one of England's greatest writers.
Four Georges, The, by William Makepeace Thackeray (1860). As the sub-title states, this work consists of sketches of manners, morals, court and town life during the reign of these Kings. The author shows us “people occupied with their every-day work or pleasure: my lord and lady hunting in the forest, or dancing in the court, or bowing to their Serene Highnesses, as they pass in to dinner.” Of special interest to American readers is the frank but sympathetic account of the third George, ending with the famous description of the last days of the old King: “Low he lies to whom the proudest used to kneel once, and who was cast lower than the poorest; dead, whom millions prayed for in vain. Driven off his throne; buffeted by rude hands; with his children in revolt; the darling of his old age killed before him, untimely,—our Lear hangs over her breathless lips and cries, ‘Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little!’” These essays do not profess to be history in any sense—certainly not in that in which Macaulay understood or McCarthy understands it, still less in that which Mr. Kidd predicts it will some day assume: they express the thoughts of the kindly satirist, of the novelist who sees not too deeply, but whose gaze misses nothing in the field it scans.
VG pages for its age, some edge and board wear. Some pages still need splitting and fly-leafs damaged by attempt at splitting.