The History of Henry Esmond

The History of Henry Esmond

infobox Book |
name = The History of Henry Esmond
title_orig = The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne
translator =

image_caption =
author = William Makepeace Thackeray
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = England
language = English
series =
genre = Historical fiction
publisher = Harper & Brothers/Lippencott
pub_date = 1852
english_pub_date =
media_type = Print
pages = 464
isbn =
preceded_by =
followed_by = The Virginians

"The History of Henry Esmond" is a historical novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, originally published in 1852. The book tells the story of the early life of Henry Esmond, a colonel in the service of Queen Anne of England. A typical example of Victorian historical novels, Thackeray's work of historical fiction tells its tale against the backdrop of late 17th- and early 18th-century England — specifically, major events surrounding the English Restoration — and utilizes characters both real (but dramatized) and imagined.

Using sporadically the first and third persons, Henry Esmond, himself, relates his own history in memoir fashion. The novel opens on Henry as a boy — the supposedly illegitimate (and eventually orphaned) son of George, the third Viscount Castlewood, and cousin of the Jacobite fourth viscount, Francis, and his wife, the Lady Castlewood. These successors to the Castlewood estate and peerage, following the death of Henry's father, foster the boy, and he remains with them throughout his youth and early adulthood. As he comes of age he joins the unsuccessful campaign to restore James Francis Edward Stuart to the English throne, but eventually comes to accept the Protestant future of England. He falls in love with his cousin (daughter of his patron, Castlewood), Beatrix, but eventually marries his foster-mother (also his cousin, and Beatrix's mother), Rachel, Lady Castlewood. The novel closes on the couple's emigration to Virginia in 1718.

In a private critique of the work, in a letter to a friend, novelist George Eliot opined that it was “the most uncomfortable book you can imagine...the hero is in love with the daughter all through the book, and marries themother at the end." [ From a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bray, 13 November 1852, as quoted on Thackeray:The Critical Heritage, ed. Geoffrey Tillotson and Donald Hawes (London: Routledge & KeganPaul, 1968), 151] However, American publisher and novelist James T. Fields, in his autobiographical "Yesterdays with Authors", said of the book, and of his friend Thackeray:

"To my thinking, it is a marvel in literature, and I have read it oftener than any of the other works. Perhaps the reason of my partiality lies somewhat in this little incident. One day, in the snowy winter of 1852, I met Thackeray sturdily ploughing his way down Beacon Street with a copy of" Henry Esmond "(the English edition, then just issued) under his arm. Seeing me some way off, he held aloft the volumes and began to shout in great glee. When I came up to him he cried out," "Here is the "very" best I can do, and I am carrying it to Prescott as a reward of merit for having given me my first dinner in America. I stand by this book, and am willing to leave it, when I go, as my card." [Yesterdays with Authors, James T. Fields (The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1879); Project Gutenberg online text:]

The sequel to this novel was "The Virginians", written in 1857–59. It takes place in both England and America, and details the lives of Esmond's grandsons, brothers George and Henry Warrington.

Although popularized by British architects George Devey and Richard Norman Shaw, the anachronistic "Queen Anne" design style created in the latter part of the 19th century, for both buildings and furniture, won its Victorian nomenclature via readers' enthusiasm for Thackeray's detailed descriptions of that period in "Henry Esmond".

Thackeray was a frequent visitor to Clevedon Court in Clevedon, Somerset; the house was the inspiration for "Castlewood", and he wrote part of the novel there. [cite encyclopedia
title = Clevedon
encyclopedia = Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
volume = Volume 6
pages = pp.500
publisher =
date = 1911
id =
accessdate =


External links

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См. также в других словарях:

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