The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century collects a series of engaging lectures by W. M. Thackeray on Swift, Pope, Fielding, and others—offering a rare look at this classic author's views of his forbearers. The lectures and the final essay Charity and Humour were written for an American audience (the latter published in Harper's Monthly Magazine in June 1853) and showcase Thackeray's views of American sensibilities. Compiled by means of a comparative study of all relevant documents—from the first published appearance to the last edition touched by the author—this edition is a unique achievement.
This volume is the latest addition to The Thackeray Edition, a multi-volume series representing the first full-scale scholarly edition of William Makepeace Thackeray's works to appear in over seventy years and the only one ever to be based on an examination of manuscripts and relevant printed texts. This series puts into practice a theory of scholarly editing that gives new insight into Thackeray's own compositional process. Other volumes from the University of Michigan Press available in the series include The Snobs of England and Punch's Prize Novelists, Catherine: A Story, The Luck of Barry Lyndon, and The History of Henry Osmond.