Advertisement

“An Honourable Emulation of the Author of The Newcomes”: James and Thackeray

  • Juliet McMaster
  • Rowland McMaster
Chapter
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

But for a few recent works, the modern assessment of Thackeray could be summed up in Thackeray’s own rueful anecdote of the St Louis hotel waiter whom he heard exclaim to his comrade: “‘Do you know who that is?’ ‘No,’ was the answer. ‘That,’ said the first ‘is the celebrated Thacker!’ ‘What’s he done?’ ‘D—d if I know!’ ”1 What everybody does know, because it is repeated so often, is James’s query about The Newcomes, along with The Three Musketeers and War and Peace: “but what do such large loose baggy monsters, with their queer elements of the accidental and the arbitrary, artistically mean?”2 Less current is James’s wonderful recollection in Notes of a Son and Brother of the great Victorian serial novels in general and The Newcomes in particular:

“These various, let alone numerous, deeper-toned strokes of the great Victorian clock were so many steps in the march of our age…. I witnessed, for that matter, with all my senses, young as I was, the never-to-be-equalled degree of difference made, for what may really be called the world-consciousness happily exposed to it, by the prolonged ‘coming out’ of The Newcomes, yellow number by number, and could take the general civilised participation in the process for a sort of basking in the light of distinction.’3

Keywords

Marriage Market Fairy Tale Young Lady Special Familiarity Classic Edition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Gordon N. Ray, Thackeray: The Age of Wisdom, 1847–1863 (New York, 1958) pp. 262–3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Preface to The Tragic Muse, in Henry James, The Art of the Novel (New York, 1934) p. 84.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Henry James, Notes of a Son and Brother (London, 1914) p. 21.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Robert L. Gale, The Caught Image: Figurative Language in the Fiction of Henry James (Chapel Hill, 1954) p. 102.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    F. O. Matthiessen, The James Family (New York, 1947 ) p. 502.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Gordon S. Haight (ed.), The George Eliot Letters, 7 vols, vol. u (New Haven, 1954–6) p. 349.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    Henry James, A Small Boy and Others (London, 1913) pp. 93–4.Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    Henry James, The Middle Years (London, 1917) pp. 4–9.Google Scholar
  9. 17.
    Henry James, “Anthony Trollope”, Partial Portraits (London, 1888) p. 118.Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    Cornelia Pulsifer Kelley, The Early Development of Henry James, rev. ed. (Urbana, 1965) p. 187.Google Scholar
  11. 22.
    Henry James, The Sacred Fount (New York, 1953) p. 214.Google Scholar
  12. 25.
    Edward Lytton Bulwer, England and the English (1833; rpt. Chicago, 1970) p. 85.Google Scholar
  13. 26.
    Henry James, The American (Boston, 1877) p. 48.Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    Edmund Wilson, “Dickens: The Two Scrooges”, The Wound and the Bow (New York, 1947) pp. 1–3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Juliet and Rowland McMaster 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliet McMaster
  • Rowland McMaster

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations