twitter make the most of Lovereading
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Doctor Birch and His Young Friends by William Makepeace Thackeray


Doctor Birch and His Young Friends by William Makepeace Thackeray

About the Author

William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta on 18 July 1811, into a family that had long ties to India. His father died when he was four and his mother remarried. At the age of six, the young Thackeray was sent to school in England. His education concluded in a typical gentlemanly fashion, when he left Cambridge in 1830 without taking his degree after incurring large gambling debts.

Thackeray found it hard to settle down and made abortive efforts to pursue a career as a lawyer and then as an artist. He lost his fortune and spent long periods in Paris from 1833 without establishing himself. His marriage to Isabella Shawe in 1836 further increased his money problems. Gradually, however, he made his mark in journalism, and by 1840 he had started to publish fiction as well as travel sketches and social observation. In the same year he suffered another setback when his wife became mentally disturbed. Eventually, she had to be confined to an institution, leaving him with two young daughters to look after. In 1847-8 he made his reputation when Vanity Fair appeared in monthly parts. Later works included Pendennis (1848-50) and the historical novel The Virginians (1857-9), which at the time was regarded as superior to Vanity Fair. Thackeray was a popular lecturer on eighteenth-century subjects and also editor of the Cornhill Magazine from 1859. He died at the age of fifty-two on Christmas Eve, 1863.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

20th August 2008


William Makepeace Thackeray

More books by William Makepeace Thackeray
Author 'Like for Like'




Paperback / softback
88 pages





Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh