The Newcomes. Memoirs of a Most Respectable Family, edited by Arthur Pendennis.: THACKERAY, William...

The Newcomes. Memoirs of a Most Respectable Family, edited by Arthur Pendennis.

THACKERAY, William Makepeace

Published by London: Bradbury and Evans:-1854-55, First edition,, 1854
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Geoffrey Jackson (Royal Wootton Bassett, United Kingdom)

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2 vols., 8vo, [viii, 380pp] + [vii, 375pp], additional engraved title to each volume 46 engraved plates by Richard Doyle, contemp. full navy calf, gilt ruled borders, gilt decorated spines in compartments with contrasting morocco labels, slightly rubbed on extremities. A VG+ set. Thackeray's The Newcomes is a substantial novel, ostensibly a biography of the arriviste Newcome family "written by" Arthur Pendennis, another Thackeray character involved in this as well as other Thackeray works, and acting as something of a Greek chorus as the action develops. It is grand in scope, long as anything you are likely to pick up, at turns slow, suspenseful, touching, a period piece, personal, witty, a mirror on society, a travelogue, heartbreaking.but almost always deeply rewarding. The main themes of the work, however, are there throughout. In rigidly class-obsessed England there are ways to move up if one has money. New-money wants to be noble. The nobility allows itself to be courted and flattered. Those not rich have, in some ways, more options for self-expression through work and socially than those who are bound by societal expectations. Thackeray gives us characters from every station in life, many of them looking at their particular status in very different ways. New money families invent myths of their past glory to cover their insecurities, tracing family histories fabulously back to the Conquest. The most upright people of character make gross mistakes in judgement, bringing grief to many innocents. Debutantes revel in making their splash in society, only finally coming to realize the emptiness at its heart. Some of the heirs of good and not-to-good men struggle with their identities and future roles in life; others plunge into their assigned roles at once and in full. Money and position do not necessarily lead to happiness or contentment; some of the perpetually financially under water are among the most jolly, hearty and loyal. The role of religion is important; but some of the religious are humbugs. Battleaxes dominate some households, beating the weakened into submission by temper and anger; cruel husbands in loveless marriages abuse their wives emotionally and physically, and abandon their heirs. Some families are bound by respect and love, others torn apart by fear, mistrust, and greed. Some lovers find one another young, and are happy together; other lovers are separated for a half century by decisions made for practical, financial reasons. But the author's gentle (but persistent) criticism of Victorian society is there throughout: its pretensions, its hypocricies, its worldliness. It's not all negative: there is a great deal of culture, of learning, of genuine friendship, and industry and opportunity. Most people are forces, in general, for good. Thackeray can make his various points, raise his innumerable questions, without becoming sarcastic or grating.and all the while, inviting us to spend quite a number of hours with a cast of deeply human characters in a sweeping story that is well worth the investment of time it requires. Bookseller Inventory # 1216

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Title: The Newcomes. Memoirs of a Most Respectable ...

Publisher: London: Bradbury and Evans:-1854-55, First edition,

Publication Date: 1854

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

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I accept VISA, MASTERCARD payments, or payment by UK cheque, international money transfers,etc. UK orders will be sent first class. Overseas orders will be sent airmail unless the volume is extremely heavy to post when the customer will be offered the choice of both aimail and surface postage rates. Any book found not to comply with the catalogue description may be returned to me within seven days of receipt for a full refund. All books remain the property of Geoffrey Jackson (Bookseller) until ...

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