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Catherine: a Story   By: (1811-1863)

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Catherine: A Story by William Makepeace Thackeray is a captivating tale that delves into the complexities of love, marriage, and societal expectations in nineteenth-century England.

Set in a small village, the story follows Catherine, a vivacious and free-spirited young woman with a desire for love and adventure. Thackeray masterfully portrays Catherine's character, depicting her as a strong-willed individual defying societal norms. Throughout the narrative, the reader becomes immersed in Catherine's world as she navigates the challenges and sacrifices that come with love.

Thackeray's writing style is eloquent and evocative, transporting readers to the era in which the story takes place. He weaves intricate descriptions of the setting, capturing the essence of the bucolic English countryside and the customs of the period. The author's attention to detail breathes life into the story, creating a rich tapestry that further immerses readers in the narrative.

The exploration of love and marriage is a central theme in Catherine: A Story. Thackeray delves into the complexities of relationships, highlighting the societal pressures and expectations that individuals faced during this time. The novel raises thought-provoking questions about the role of women in society, the value of independence, and the consequences of conforming to societal norms.

The characters in Catherine: A Story are carefully developed, each with their own distinct personality and motivations. Catherine herself is a compelling and relatable protagonist, flawed yet endearing. Thackeray's portrayal of her transformation throughout the novel is both honest and poignant, allowing readers to empathize with the challenges she faces.

While the pacing of the story can be leisurely at times, Thackeray's masterful storytelling keeps the reader engaged. The novel seamlessly shifts between moments of introspection, societal critique, and tender moments of romance, ensuring that there is never a dull moment.

What sets Catherine: A Story apart is Thackeray's ability to explore universal themes with a keen eye for social commentary. Through the lens of Catherine's journey, the author addresses the limitations placed on women in that era, illuminating the struggles and triumphs of individuals trapped within societal expectations.

Overall, Catherine: A Story is a remarkable work of literature that continues to resonate with readers even after its initial publication. Thackeray's impeccable storytelling, vivid descriptions, and deep understanding of human nature make this novel a timeless classic. Whether one is interested in historical fiction, love stories, or social commentary, Catherine: A Story is a must-read that will leave a lasting impression.

First Page:


by William Makepeace Thackeray

[Catherine, A Story by Ikey Solomons, Esq., Junior.]



1. Introducing to the reader the chief personages of this narrative.

2. In which are depicted the pleasures of a sentimental attachment.

3. In which a narcotic is administered, and a great deal of genteel society depicted.

4. In which Mrs. Catherine becomes an honest woman again.

5. Contains Mr. Brock's autobiography, and other matter.

6. The adventures of the ambassador, Mr. MacShane.

7. Which embraces a period of seven years.

8. Enumerates the accomplishments of Master Thomas Billings introduces Brock as Doctor Wood and announces the execution of Ensign MacShane.

9. Interview between Count Galgenstein and Master Thomas Billings, when he informs the Count of his parentage.

10. Showing how Galgenstein and Mrs. Cat recognise each other in Marylebone Gardens and how the Count drives her home in his carrige.

11. Of some domestic quarrels, and the consequence thereof.

12. Treats of love, and prepares for death.

13. Being a preparation for the end.

Chapter the Last.

Another Last Chapter.


The story of "Catherine," which appeared in Fraser's Magazine in 1839 40, was written by Mr. Thackeray, under the name of Ikey Solomons, Jun... Continue reading book >>

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