William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-63), novelist. Born in Calcutta, sent to England in 1817, educated at Charterhouse and at Trinity College, Cambridge, which he left in 1830, without taking a degree. Studied law, wrote journalism, contributed articles to periodicals. During the 1840s began to make his name as a writer, his most famous novels often issued in serial form, including Vanity Fair (1847), Pendennis (1848-50), The History of Henry Esmond (1852) and The Newcomes (1853-55).