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William Makepeace Thackeray collection

Call Number: MS P317


Small collection of literary texts and letters by the English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) and gathered together by Spencer Research Library staff.


  • 1838, 1860


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India, the only son of an East India Company administrator, Richmond Thackeray. After his father's death in 1815, Thackeray was sent to England, where his mother later joined him in 1820, after having married an engineering officer in 1817.

Thackeray attended grammar and public schools before entering Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied from 1828-1830 without obtaining a degree. He studied law at Middle Temple in 1831-1833 and considered becoming a painter as a career.

In the mid-1830s while studying art in Paris, he married, and after 1837 he returned to England to take up journalism. In 1847-1848 his novel Vanity Fair was published serially, which gave him popular and economic success.

Thackeray went onto write other historical and contemporary novels, including The Newcomes (1853-1855) and The Virginians (1857-1859). In 1860 he founded and became editor of The Cornhill Magazine.

[Information retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica, "William Makepeace Thackaray,"]


3 folders

Physical Location

MS P317

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Item 1: purchase, estate of Eleanor Witty of London, 1968. Item 2: purchase, E. von Scherling, [before 1963]. Item 3: gift, William P. Albrecht, 1971.

Guide to the William Makepeace Thackeray Collection
William Makepeace Thackeray collection
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1968, 1970, 1973; revised by ksc, 2006. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006; revised by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
William Makepeace Thackeray collection, MS P317, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States