Big Head

John Sutherland

  • Thackeray’s Universe: Shifting Worlds of Imagination and Reality by Catherine Peters
    Faber, 292 pp, £12.95, January 1987, ISBN 0 571 14711 9

Catherine Peters’s cosmically titled book is a popular biography. It is also the third popular biography of Thackeray we have had in the last nine years, taking its place alongside Anne Monsarrat’s Thackeray: Uneasy Victorian (1980) and Margaret Forster’s sprightly ‘autobiography’, Thackeray: Memoirs of a Victorian Gentleman (1978). (Rather meanly, Peters leaves both competitors out of her ‘Select Bibliography’.) All three are, self-confessedly, dwarfed by the late Gordon Ray’s authoritative two-volume biography, Thackeray, The Uses of Adversity (1955) and Thackeray, The Age of Wisdom (1958).

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