Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Thackeray, William Makepeace

(1811-1863) UK writer, author of much occasional journalism and Satire as well as novels like Vanity Fair (1848), whose sharp-eyed focus on the mundane world makes him an unlikely writer of fantasy. John Bull and his Wonderful Lamp (1849 chap), as by Homunculus, is a satire of contemporary England within an Arabian-Fantasy frame. The last of his five Christmas Books, The Rose and the Ring, or The History of Prince Giglio and Prince Bulbo: A Fire Side Pantomime for Great and Small Children (1855) as by M A Titmarsh, spoofs the Fairytale, which by 1850 had become firmly designated a literature for children. The book includes a good Fairy, several magic Talismans and an armamentarium of invincible magic Weapons; and all ends happily with the restoration of the rightful heir to the throne of a land much like England.

WMT was also highly esteemed as an illustrator, working regularly for Punch and illustrating many of his own works, including both Vanity Fair and The Rose and the Ring. Today, however, his illustrations seem stiff. [JC]

Other work (selective): Bluebeard's Ghost (1843 chap).

William Makepeace Thackeray


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.