William Makepeace Thackeray

Photographer: Caldesi & Blanford

Circa 1860

Albumen print

3½ x 2¼ inches

From the Simon Cooke collection.

A typical carte-de-visite photograph of the period, taken shortly before Thackeray’s death in 1863. The print has faded and some of the detail has been lost; nevertheless, the author’s intent gaze and clasped hands clearly project an idea of the writer as social critic, sternly assessing the viewer’s moral nature as we, in turn, look at him. It also contradicts the notion of Thackeray’s obesity, which was cited as a factor in his untimely demise at the age of 52. The figure shown here is tall and well-built, in good condition for a mid-Victorian of fifty.

[Click on image to enlarge it.]

Scanned image, formatting, and text by Simon Cooke

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