William Makepeace Thackeray, Catherine

Matthew Skwiat (University of Virginia)
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The May 1839-February 1840 serialisation of

Catherine: A Story


Fraser’s Magazine

marked the first novel-length work by the twenty-eight-year-old author William Makepeace Thackeray. At the time of


release, Thackeray was making a name for himself as a writer of journalistic, satirical, and burlesque pieces for

The Times, The Morning Chronicle,


Bentley’s Miscellany

(Carey 1977, p. 15)

. Catherine

would bring together Thackeray’s gift of mimicry with his interest in history and the theatre, as he lampooned the popular Newgate novels of the 1830s. It is perhaps because of its topical subject matter and tonal disparities that


critical popularity has waned. Thackeray’s biographer Gordon N. Rey found the novel “more impressive in its parts than as a…

2551 words

Citation: Skwiat, Matthew. "Catherine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6141, accessed 26 February 2024.]

6141 Catherine 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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