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Thackeray, William Makepeace
Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta. He studied at Cambridge, but, never a keen student, he left the University in 1830 to travel the continent. He began to study law but gave it up and squandered much of his inheritance on gambling and poor investments. He studied art in Paris, but he did not pursue that professionally either, except to illustrate his own novels. He was a successful novelist, earning the adulation of the very people he satirized. His death at 53 was unexpected.
Acclaimed English wit, author, and one of the most distinguished advocates of 19th-century realistic novel. Thackeray is particularly reminisced for his deftly witty and sardonic depictions of the middle and upper classes of his time.