William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist, c 1850s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by Herbert Watkins of 215 Regent Street, London. William Thackeray (1811-1863) first attracted attention as a writer in 1842 with his work in 'Punch' magazine, in which he explored the theme of snobbery in English society as seen through the eyes of a humble footman. Most of his major novels, including 'Vanity Fair', 'Pendennis' and 'The Newcomes', were originally published as monthly serials. In 1860 he became the editor of 'The Cornhill Magazine' where much of his later work appeared.