Chapter 7

Photograph Photograph

Thackeray to Henry and Anne Carmichael-Smyth, 1 Jan 1857. bMS Eng 881 (24).

Thackeray to Anne and Henry Carmichael-Smyth, 1 January 1857.

In a New Year’s letter to his mother and step-father, Thackeray apprised them of his news; he reported that he was asked to think about running as a Whig candidate for Parliament, but declined because of his busy lecture schedule and because he would rather run as an independent. By July, Thackeray decided he would run as an independent, on a platform of enlarging the body of eligible voters, introducing a ballot, and introducing more middle-class citizens into government. In addition, this letter is evidence that as Thackeray grew wealthier, he did not forget the years he had been poor. He wrote, “A man I dont like and dont know much but clever & learned and in distress got 100£ out of me yesterday – I know it was wrong but couldn’t help helping him thinking of my own distress & how many a kind hand was ready to help me.”

bMS Eng 881 (24). Gift of Herbert L. Carlebach, 1950.