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A Thackeray Library (Classic Reprint)

A Thackeray Library (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from A Thackeray Library

Man has ever been fascinated by the joy of collecting, from X the days when a pebble of special roundness, or a mammoth bone of enticing sharpness, appealed to the artistic tastes of our distant ancestors; and the bliss of it all has never been more pronounced than it is to-day, with our widening opportunities and abounding wealth (less war taxes). When hooks were first made, men longed to possess them and gathered them together in great libraries, only to be dispersed later by sale, or destroyed by the invasion of unwelcome neighbors who could not read. In our own day there, is no author so appealing to the collector as Thackeray. Like Dickens, a number of his volumes were published in parts, and the possession of these with the original covers untinged by dust, and the advertisements intact, is the proper object of every well-regulated ambition, and to bind them would be but to destroy much of their value.

Unlike many of the writer clan, Thackeray has other claims to our consideration and esteem. He was something of an artist as well, and a versifier of real ability. He was never a great painter or draftsman, but at the same time there is something appealing about his drawings that makes us overlook their technical shortcomings. More often than not his drawings were caricatures, but their aptness and their humor made them appeal strongly to the reader. Conscious of his inability to draw well, Thackeray modestly permitted Doyle to illustrate The Newcomes, and while the result showed greater technique the world lost, and missed, Thackeray's brilliant humor. Most of us now, I think, acknowledge that Vanity Fair is the most admirably illustrated hook extant.

Original drawings by Thackeray are becoming more valuable every year, and this tendency increases as they inevitably become more rare. The examples treasured up by his daughters have finally been dispersed and many of the best of these have been acquired by public libraries or museums, or have been gathered into large private collections where they will probably remain for many years if not forever.

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This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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