The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes And Misfortunes, His Friends And His Greatest Enemy

The History of Pendennis His Fortunes And Misfortunes His Friends And His Greatest Enemy Written immediately after Vanity Fair Pendennis has a similar atmosphere of brooding disillusion tempered by the most jovial of wits But here Thackeray plunders his own past to create the character

  • Title: The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes And Misfortunes, His Friends And His Greatest Enemy
  • Author: William Makepeace Thackeray Donald Hawes J.I.M. Stewart
  • ISBN: 9780140430769
  • Page: 318
  • Format: Paperback
  • Written immediately after Vanity Fair, Pendennis has a similar atmosphere of brooding disillusion, tempered by the most jovial of wits But here Thackeray plunders his own past to create the character of Pendennis and the world in which he lives from miserable schoolboy to striving journalist, from carefree Oxbridge to the high and low life of London The result is a suWritten immediately after Vanity Fair, Pendennis has a similar atmosphere of brooding disillusion, tempered by the most jovial of wits But here Thackeray plunders his own past to create the character of Pendennis and the world in which he lives from miserable schoolboy to striving journalist, from carefree Oxbridge to the high and low life of London The result is a superbly panoramic blend of people, action and background The true ebb and flow of life is caught and the credibility of Pen, his worldly uncle, the Major, and many of the other characters, extends far beyond the pages of the novel Held together by Thackeray s flowing, confident prose, with its conversational ease of tone, Pendennis is as rich a portrait of England in the 1830s and 40s as it is a thorough and thoroughly entertaining self portrait.

    One thought on “The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes And Misfortunes, His Friends And His Greatest Enemy”

    1. If I write anything in the review, it will contain spoilers. So, if you care, don't read it ;)A fascinating little tidbit from the back cover of my edition, which created a lot to ponder for me as I read the book: "Pendennis is one of the earliest and greatest of the Victorian Bildungsromanen--introspective novels chronicling the author's growth to maturity under a thin veil of fiction. On coming across Pendennis in later life, Thackeray was heard to mutter: 'It is very like. Yes, it is very lik [...]

    2. Pendennis, an early Victorian semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman that might be compared to its more famous contemporary, Dickens’ David Copperfield, is a prime example of the novels Henry James deprecated as “loose, baggy monsters.” Long to the point of exhaustion, the novel’s filled with numerous characters who appear, disappear, and then reappear under the most incredible circumstances; plots, subplots and counterplots; ludicrous coincidences and chance encounters; dealing, double and [...]

    3. From Gary Inbinder's review:"Pendennis, an early Victorian semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman that might be compared to its more famous contemporary, Dickens’ David Copperfield, is a prime example of the novels Henry James deprecated as “loose, baggy monsters.” Long to the point of exhaustion, the novel’s filled with numerous characters who appear, disappear, and then reappear under the most incredible circumstances; plots, subplots and counterplots; ludicrous coincidences and chance en [...]

    4. I am so sad. This book was my friend and now it is finished. If you love Vanity Fair and want to meet Thackeray, here is your chance.

    5. I have to admit that I couldn't get through this book. Well, I couldn't get through the second volume. Perhaps the change of seasons did me in; it's hard for me to curl up with a dusty victorian tome when the air outside is so fresh and inviting. Plus, I don't think this novel is nearly as good as Vanity Fair. The characters just are not as interesting or accessible, there are too many of them, the plot flags and seems to repeat similar story lines. The only highlight, other than Thackery's pros [...]

    6. As for the story - after muddling through this book to the end, I wasn't rewarded. I just didn't care about Pen. Laura had no personality it is true, but you actually felt for George and wanted him to be happy. I didn't feel for Pen, how his mom and Laura thought him to be so wonderful was silly. In fact I was hoping he would end up marrying Blanche and then having to deal with that and somehow George and Laura could end up together. As for the writing itself - there were some great quotes along [...]

    7. Well. It's a bit like Vanity Fair, except not nearly so good, and with a really annoying hero. I mean, you don't want a perfect hero, but on the other hand you don't want a spineless snobbish idiot with no redeeming features at all, like Arthur Pendennis. Didn't warm to him. Didn't think he should be rewarded with the best girl at the end. Some of the minor characters are quite amusing, but not enough to make up for the rottenness at the core. Oh and the introduction was annoying too. The editor [...]

    8. Pendennis is a guilty pleasure for readers who love 19th century British literature about wealthy aristocrats who make bad choices, but also know that they probably should be reading French literature, where everyone is poor and miserable and the injustices of the world are called more clearly into light. I enjoyed every one of the 800 pages of Pendennis. I'll probably go back to reading miserable French novels now, or maybe contemporary fiction about real, pressing issues, but I'll always look [...]

    9. Although The History of Pendennis is well written and a good read, it is long and a bit of a challenge to get through at times. I would recommend reading it, but there is nothing fast paced throughout the novel.It is a good example of a literary Bildungsroman.

    10. It took the author two years of labour to produce this semi-autobiographical tower block of a Bildungsroman. It may take you as long to read it but there are worse ways to spend the time, i.e. reading Trollope.Thackeray's young Pendennis is the kind of generous, guileless, son of an upwardly mobile tradesman with pretentions of gentility and a doting mother, who falls in love with the first pretty woman he sees in a vast number of Victorian novels.True enough he does exactly that, with an indiff [...]

    11. Don't know how many people will like this novel or even Thackeray. Some say he is way too 'wordy', but what gems of wisdom we find among those words. If you like fast reading Victorian novels, you won't like it. If you like a novel that you would read every word and that flows seamlessly, this is for you. We read of Arthur first love at eighteen and Thackeray makes us think back to our first love. We grow with Arthur though his life and think about ourselves. Thackeray is the one author that can [...]

    12. It is with utmost regret that I relinquish this book having barely reached about 37% of it. How eager I was to embark on another voyage through the glittery channels drafted by Thackeray´s pen! Alas, I suppose the springs of genius had run dry after the composition of Vanity Fair (the magnus opus immediately preceding the volume subject of these lines), for the fountains of artistry no longer soared above our banal views to refresh us with a splutter of his caricatures. The History of Pendennis [...]

    13. This was a very very long book with lots of interjections and sermons by the narrator who I guess is the author but is also a fictional character. It ended with a lot of excitement that I didn't expect from such a plodding story about a mostly unremarkable person. I sometimes liked Arthur, sometimes didn't - and that's how the narrator wanted it to be. In the end I liked him more because of who liked him. Does that make me shallow? Poor Warrington. I almost caught some dislike on the level of Fl [...]

    14. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Pendennis is more of an everyman (ie, flawed) than a hero; but he is an endearing character and his adventures and the characters that populate them make an absorbing read.

    15. This is the genuine article of all the bad things people say about Victorian fiction, with a sainted mother and lots of authorial intrusion and not very much plot at all, but after the first quarter (which is, I accept, the size of many much better books) I was entertained, and Thackeray's humor and moral imagination shows through after Pendennis comes of age and becomes a lucky prig. Not really a three star book as I look back at it, but if I weren't compelled by it well I like to think I'm not [...]

    16. This one starts out slow, with the protagonist's youthful infatuation with an actress, but picks up speed and more engaging social satire after he moves to London. A few characters are tedious caricatures, and the wit isn't quite as biting as in Vanity Fair, but on the other hand there is a character or two with some actual sense and principle, as well as a parade of Thackeray's usual fools, rogues, and etc.

    17. I don't think Thackeray liked people very much. The 'good' characters are so unrealistic, Arthur's mother especially - he's much better at the ones he can despise like Costigan. Oh, but wouldn't Anthony Trollope have made a wonderful thing of Pen and Warrington?This book goes on far too long and he makes it quite clear to the reader that he's rushing the end, which is frankly ludicrous. Ah well, Trollope had barely got going at this point in time, so comparisons are odorous

    18. I'd never read Thackeray before, since I'd only heard of "Vanity Fair" and that never appealed to me. "Pendennis," though long and skim-worthy in many places, paints a fascinating picture of England in the 1830's. Other than the too-perfect Laura, the characters are interesting and amusing, and the plot, (once it finally gets going,) though typically Victorian, is engaging enough.

    19. A marvelous satire by Thackeray of his own life. The characters -- especially the theatre people & goldiggers -- are memorable, as is Pendennis' own uncle, whose utterances of "Pooh!" is enough to break up any reader. Long, but worth it!

    20. Good story, good characters, quality writing. There were a lot of twists and turns, and I really liked it.

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