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1902. With illustrations by the author. Vanity Fair is Thackeray's masterpiece, but he also showed great skill in writing historical fiction with fine attention to period manners and customs and a dispassionate sympathy for his character's actions. The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Thackeray's first substantial work, concerns the life and times of the title character and narrator, a roguish Irishman. Born Redmond Barry, he leaves his homeland after shooting a man in a duel. He becomes a soldier of fortune and later works as a professional gambler. Remade as a man of fashion, he courts a wealthy widow, marries her, and assumes her aristocratic name of Lyndon. He mistreats both her and her son and spends and gambles away her money, but eventually she extricates herself from the alliance. By the novel's end he is in jail, cared for by his mother. Also contained in this volume is Catherine: A Story, Thackeray's first novel. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.