Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


William Makepeace Thackeray

Nationality: English
Date of birth: 18 July 1811
Place of birth: Calcutta, india
Date of death: 24 December 1863
Place of death: London
Category: writer


He was the son of Richmond Thackeray, secretary to the Board of Revenue in the British East India Company, and Anne Becher (1792–1864). They returned to England in 1816.

He married Isabella Gethin Shawe (1816–1893), and they had three children: Anne Isabella (1837–1919), Jane (who died in infancy) and Harriet Marian (1840–1875).


He wrote for various journals and newspaper including Fraser's Magazine and the Times, and wrote many popular books, including The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844) and Vanity Fair (1848).

He is said to have admired Whistler's At the Piano y024 in 1860.


Peter L. Shillingsburg, ‘Thackeray, William Makepeace (1811–1863)’, first published 2004; online edn, May 2014, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

'William Makepeace Thackeray', Encyclopedia Britannica online.

'William Makepeace Thackeray', Wikipedia.

Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer, and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980 .