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Roundabout Papers   By: (1811-1863)

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Roundabout Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray is a collection of essays that offers a unique and insightful perspective on various aspects of 19th-century society. Thackeray weaves together a blend of wit, humor, and social commentary to create a captivating reading experience.

One of the standout features of this book is Thackeray's writing style. His prose is eloquent, yet accessible, making it easy for readers to engage with his ideas. Each essay is written in a conversational tone, as if the author is directly addressing the reader, which adds a personal touch to the narrative.

Thackeray's keen observations on human nature and society are another strength of Roundabout Papers. Through his witty anecdotes and astute analysis, he sheds light on the complexities of Victorian society, including its mores, class divisions, and cultural norms. Whether he is discussing etiquette, fashion, or the quirks of the English language, Thackeray's sharp wit and satirical edge provide a refreshing and often comical take on the absurdities of the time.

Furthermore, the essays in Roundabout Papers cover a wide range of topics, ensuring that readers will find something of interest within its pages. Thackeray explores both the everyday and the extraordinary, from the mundane aspects of everyday life to the grandeur of historical events. This diversity keeps the book fresh and engaging throughout, as readers never know what subject matter they will encounter next.

However, it is worth noting that some readers may find the book's structure somewhat fragmented. As the title suggests, the essays can feel meandering and digressive, at times lacking a clear through-line. While this might frustrate readers seeking a cohesive narrative, it aligns with Thackeray's intention of creating a collection of "roundabout" musings.

Overall, Roundabout Papers is a delightful read for anyone with an interest in Victorian literature and social commentary. Thackeray's wit and insight shine through, making this collection a timeless treasure. Whether you are a fan of his previous works or new to Thackeray's writing, this book is a fantastic addition to any literary collection.

First Page:


By William Makepeace Thackeray



On a Lazy Idle Boy

On Two Children in Black

On Ribbons

On some late Great Victories

Thorns in the Cushion

On Screens in Dining Rooms

Tunbridge Toys

De Juventute

On a Joke I once heard from the late Thomas Hood

Round about the Christmas Tree

On a Chalk Mark on the Door

On being Found Out

On a Hundred Years Hence

Small Beer Chronicle


On Two Roundabout Papers which I intended to Write

A Mississippi Bubble

On Letts's Diary

Notes of a Week's Holiday

Nil Nisi Bonum

On Half a Loaf A Letter to Messrs. Broadway, Battery and Co., of New York, Bankers

The Notch on the Axe. A Story a la Mode. Part I Part II Part III

De Finibus

On a Peal of Bells

On a Pear Tree


On some Carp at Sans Souci

Autour de mon Chapeau

On Alexandrines A Letter to some Country Cousins

On a Medal of George the Fourth

"Strange to say, on Club Paper"

The Last Sketch



I had occasion to pass a week in the autumn in the little old town of Coire or Chur, in the Grisons, where lies buried that very ancient British king, saint, and martyr, Lucius, who founded the Church of St. Peter, on Cornhill... Continue reading book >>

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