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Some Roundabout Papers   By: (1811-1863)

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Some Roundabout Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray is a collection of essays and sketches that provide readers with a captivating glimpse into Victorian society. Thackeray, a master observer and satirist, manages to present a wide array of topics, from literature and art to politics and daily life, all while infusing his distinctive wit and sardonic humor.

One of the highlights of this collection is the variety of topics discussed. Thackeray effortlessly transitions between subjects, ensuring that readers are constantly engaged and surprised by the narrative trajectory. From his humorous musings on the art of gossiping, to his scathing satire on literary circles, Thackeray skillfully exposes the foibles and idiosyncrasies of the Victorian upper classes.

Thackeray's writing style is both delightfully acerbic and irresistibly witty. His keen observations about human nature and society are both astute and entertaining, making the reader thoroughly enjoy each page. The author's skill for satire shines through in his vivid characterizations and his biting commentary on the social climate of the time. Thackeray's command of language and his ability to craft concise and impactful sentences only enhance the overall reading experience.

Moreover, the charm of Some Roundabout Papers lies in its timelessness. Despite being written in the mid-19th century, Thackeray addresses topics that are still relevant today. His insights into the art of criticism, the challenges of marriage, and the allure of wealth and status are universal, reminding readers of the timeless nature of human existence.

However, Some Roundabout Papers may not appeal to all readers. Thackeray's writing style can be verbose at times, and his tendency to go off on tangents may alienate those seeking a more straightforward narrative. Additionally, some of the references to specific societal figures and events of the era may be lost on contemporary readers, requiring a deeper understanding of Victorian history to fully appreciate certain passages.

Overall, Some Roundabout Papers is a thought-provoking and entertaining collection of essays that showcases Thackeray's wit, keen observations, and satirical prowess. While it may not be the most accessible work for modern readers, it is undoubtedly a valuable piece of literature that offers intellectual and philosophical insights that transcend time. Thackeray's ability to enthrall readers with his writing style and his sharp commentary ensures that this collection remains a worthy addition to any literary enthusiast's bookshelf.

First Page:

This etext was prepared from the 1908 T.N. Foulis edition by Stephen Rice, email srice01@ibm.net

Some Roundabout Papers

ON SOME CARP AT SANS SOUCI

We have lately made the acquaintance of an old lady of ninety, who has passed the last twenty five years of her old life in a great metropolitan establishment, the workhouse, namely, of the parish of Saint Lazarus. Stay twenty three or four years ago, she came out once, and thought to earn a little money by hop picking; but being overworked, and having to lie out at night, she got a palsy which has incapacitated her from all further labour, and has caused her poor old limbs to shake ever since.

An illustration of that dismal proverb which tells us how poverty makes us acquainted with strange bed fellows, this poor old shaking body has to lay herself down every night in her workhouse bed by the side of some other old woman with whom she may or may not agree. She herself can't be a very pleasant bed fellow, poor thing! with her shaking old limbs and cold feet. She lies awake a deal of the night, to be sure, not thinking of happy old times, for hers never were happy; but sleepless with aches, and agues, and rheumatism of old age. "The gentleman gave me brandy and water," she said, her old voice shaking with rapture at the thought... Continue reading book >>




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