The last completed novel of William Makepeace Thackeray, The Adventures of Philip tells the story of Philip Firmin, a blustering but good-hearted young man. When his mother dies, Philip becomes heir to a fortune but is estranged from his father, who proceeds to waste his son's inheritance on fraudulent speculation. Next Philip's true love casts him aside for a richer man, and he proposes to Charlotte. However, their marriage causes an immediate rift with Philip's wealthy relation Lord Ringwood. After Philip's bad temper loses him a series of positions as a journalist, things look particularly bleak. The discovery of Lord Ringwood's lost will may be Philip's last hope—but how favorably will Lord Ringwood look on him?
Included in the edition are a list of manuscript alterations, a list of emendations, and a collation of historical variants as well as an extensive discussion of the editorial theory and practices. Particular attention is paid to the problems confronting any editor of Thackeray: ambiguities in his handwriting, choosing between vastly different authorial rhetorical punctuation and the semantic punctuation standard in Smith's publishing house. Other volumes in the Thackeray Edition include The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century and Charity and Humour; The Snobs of England and Punch's Prize Novelists; Catherine; The Luck of Barry Lyndon: A Romance of the Last Century. By Fitz-Boodle; The Newcomes: Memoirs of a Most Respectable Family; and The History of Henry Esmond.