Chapter 6


Thackeray’s “transformation” playing cards. fMS Eng 17 (8).

Thackeray’s “transformation” playing cards

Travelling to New York on board the steamer Canada in 1852, Thackeray transformed an ordinary deck of playing cards into a number of (often alarmingly racist) caricatures and scenes.

He initially envisioned producing an entire book or pack of the cards, “to be sold at all railway stations & bought by every body who loves stuff and nonsense.” The plan did not succeed, but cards like these can be found in numerous collections of Thackeray’s work.
fMS Eng 951.17 (8). Gift of Mary Graton Briggs, 1936.

Presented here are five playing cards from the collection.