Born in Calcutta, where his father was employed by the East
India Company, he was sent to school in England, as was the
fashion for colonial-born children.
After unsuccessful essays of publishing sketches and running
his own publications (Constitution) The History of Henry
Esmond, The Newcombes, and Vanity Fair came out.
Thackeray was continually ill with recurrent kidney
infections caused by a bout with syphillis in his youth, and
probably contaminated his own wife, who, over the time,
fell victim in 1840 of mental illness and had to remain in
one institution or another for the rest of her life.