Thackeray: The Irish Sketch Book

Pdf Thackery, William Makepeace, The Irish Sketch Book and Contributions to the "Foreign Quarterly Review" 1842-4, Oxford University Press, 1863
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The Irish Sketch Book and Contributions to the "Foreign Quarterly Review" 1842-4 by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was first published in 1863. Thackeray was born in India and was the son of Richmond Thackeray and Anne Becher. However when his father died he was sent to go to school in England . He then attended Trinity College at Cambridge University but left in 1830 due to his lack of interest in academic studies. He got employment as a writer for Fraser’s Magazine and then The Times, where he was a book reviewer, and later wrote for Punch magazine. His most famous work is his novel Vanity Fair. Thackeray is considered one of the best English novelists of his time.

The Irish Sketch Book became a very well-known travel book and brought early success to Thackeray as a writer. It contains descriptions of Thackeray’s travels around Ireland ; his journey starts in Dublin then moves out around other parts of the country. He gives an account of his many activities while on the journey, such as stag hunting and attending the horse races in Killarney, Co. Kerry. The book also contains forty-five sketches of different parts of Ireland .

During the 1840s, Ireland was suffering from the Great Famine. People relied on the potato crop for survival but when the crop failed poor people were left without food and over a million people died. In his work, Thackeray notes the very poor conditions in which people were living prior to the onset of the famine.   He also gives an account of the beggars that lived in the countryside. Also provided are observations on the sectarian divide between the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland at the time.

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