First published in 1844, The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. by Thackeray is a picaresque novel also known as The Luck of Barry Lyndon. It chronicles the life of impoverished Redmond Barry, an Irishman who wants to be an English aristocrat. An opportunist, rake, and gambler, he serves in the Seven Years War, first under the English flag and then, for money, in the Prussian Army. Continuing to play with his luck, he gains wealth in the beginning but eventually is punished for his many lovable imperfections.About the Author:
Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta. He studied at Cambridge, but, never a keen student, he left the University in 1830 to travel the continent. He began to study law but gave it up and squandered much of his inheritance on gambling and poor investments. He studied art in Paris, but he did not pursue that professionally either, except to illustrate his own novels.He was a successful novelist, earning the adulation of the very people he satirized. His death at 53 was unexpected.
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