Chapter 6


Thackeray’s costume sketches for the Baxter family, [1852]. MS Eng 951.10.

Thackeray. Costume sketches for the Baxter family. Ink and pencil, [1852].

While in New York, Thackeray made the acquaintance of warehouse owner George Baxter and his family. The Baxter house became Thackeray’s home away from home, and their domestic life reminded him of his family in London.

In a published collection of Thackeray’s letters to her family, daughter Lucy Baxter wrote: “[Thackeray] entered with great interest into all our plans and amusements, and on one occasion, when my eldest brother’s costume for a juvenile fancy ball was under discussion, he took pen and paper as he sat chatting among us, and drew little sketches of the proper dress for a page of various periods.” Displayed here is a page of Thackeray’s sketches for the ball, depicting pages from the “Time of William III” and “Mary Queen of Scots.”
MS Eng 951.10. Gift of Herbert L. Carlebach, 1947.