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II. IN WHICH MIS5 SHARP AND Miss SEDLEY PREPARE
TO OPEN THE CAMPAIGN
ILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY
born at Calcutta, India, on July 18, 1811, the son
and grandson of officers of the East India Company. His father died when William was six, and the following year the future novelist was sent to England to be educated. After some years at private schools, he entered the Charterhouse in 1822, and remained till 1828. Neither there nor at Cambridge, where he was a member of Trinity College for a year and a half, did he distinguish himself as a scholar; and he finally left the university because he felt he was wasting his time, and determined to finish his education by travel. During a stay of several months at Weimar he met Goethe, and years afterwards used his reminiscences of the Grand Ducal Court there in his description of Pumpernickel in “Vanity Fair." On his return to England he took up the study of law, and though he was later called to the bar he never practised.
Thackeray's father had left him a considerable fortune, most of which had disappeared by the time he was twentythree, part lost in an unsuccessful newspaper, part in unfortunate investments, and part through gambling. Finding that he had to earn his bread, he resolved to study art, and in 1834 went to Paris for this purpose. Two years later he was appointed Paris correspondent of a short-lived paper, "The Constitutionalist," and on the strength of this he married Isabella Shawe, the daughter of an Irish officer. After four years of happy married life, Mrs. Thackeray's mind gave way, and though she lived till 1894 she never recovered. For a number of years he had to struggle to keep his head above water, writing for newspapers and periodicals and doing a good deal of illustrating. Though he never acquired great technical skill as a draughtsman, he had a gift of turning out amusing sketches, and for ten