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|Author||William Makepeace Thackeray|
|Original title||The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne|
|Publisher||Smith, Elder & Co.|
|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 utilises characters both real (but dramatised) and imagined. It weaves its central character into a number of events such as the Glorious Revolution, the War of the Spanish Succession, the Hamilton–Mohun Duel and the Hanoverian Succession.
Henry Esmond relates his own history in memoir fashion, mainly in the third person but occasionally dropping into the first person. Henry, born about 1678, is an orphan and lives near London in the care of French Huguenot refugees. When Henry is about ten years old, Thomas Esmond, third Viscount Castlewood, removes him from his caretakers and takes him to Castlewood; Henry lives at Castlewood as a servant, and it is generally assumed that he is the viscount's illegitimate son. The Catholic viscount opposes the legitimacy of King William III and is killed fighting for James II at the Battle of the Boyne. Castlewood is temporarily occupied by the army and Henry is befriended by a trooper, the writer Richard Steele. The estate passes to Thomas's Protestant cousin Francis Esmond, who becomes the fourth viscount. The new viscount and his wife foster the young Henry; for the first time he eats at the table as an acknowledged member of the family. A quiet, sober, hard-working youth, Henry is devoted to his foster family. Gentle, sensitive Lady Castlewood is his adored mother figure. Her husband is also kind to Esmond, but he is a hard-drinking man of limited intellect and sometimes crude manners, and this causes his wife a great deal of embarrassment.
Henry remains at Castlewood until his foster-parents send him to Cambridge University, where they intend him to become a clergyman. However, in Henry's last year at the university, the fourth viscount is killed in a duel. On his deathbed he tells Henry that Thomas Esmond, the third viscount, was in fact his father, and that Henry is not illegitimate at all but the legal heir to the title and estate of Castlewood. Henry, thinking of the pain and disgrace this would cause his foster-mother and cousins, burns the confession and tells no one.
Lady Castlewood blames Henry for the viscount's death and forbids him to see any of the family again. After spending a year in prison for his part in the duel, Henry joins the army and fights in the War of the Spanish Succession. Returning to England, now twenty-three, he becomes reconciled with his foster mother and visits his cousins: Frank (now the fifth viscount), an unintelligent but good-natured boy of seventeen, and Beatrix, not yet sixteen but already tall and beautiful. Frank is determined to join the army as soon as he can; Beatrix is already flirting with several wealthy men, and Lady Castlewood tells Henry that Beatrix is vain and heartless and no man who marries her will be happy. Henry, smitten with Beatrix's looks himself, returns to his regiment and fights in the Netherlands and Spain until the end of the first phase of the war in 1708.
Leaving the army, Henry settles in London to make his fortune as a writer. He meets many of the celebrated English writers of the day, and renews his friendship with Richard Steele, who introduces him to Joseph Addison. Esmond's play is a flop and he turns to writing political pamphlets and letters supporting his Tory friends and abusing the Duke of Marlborough, against whom he bears a grudge, while favoring John Richmond Webb (who was Thackeray's great-great-great-uncle.) Esmond represents Addison and Steele as cheerful, civil gentlemen who remain his friends even though they are on opposite sides politically. On the other hand, he draws Jonathan Swift, who was on his own side, as a hateful misanthrope and bully.
Henry and his cousin Frank later join an unsuccessful (and unhistorical) attempt to restore James Francis Edward Stuart to the British throne. After much intrigue, Henry grows disillusioned with Jacobitism and comes to accept the Whig future of Great Britain. Failing to marry his cousin Beatrix, he instead marries his foster-mother Lady Castlewood. The novel closes on the couple's emigration to Virginia in 1718.
In a private critique of the work, written in a letter to a friend, novelist George Eliot labelled it "the most uncomfortable book you can imagine ... the hero is in love with the daughter all through the book, and marries the mother at the end."  However, American publisher and writer 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." 
Anthony Trollope thought Thackeray the greatest novelist of his time  and Esmond his masterpiece. 
Ippolito Nievo's novel Confessions of an Italian shows similarities with The History of Henry Esmond, in the fundamental structure of the plot, in the psychological outlines of the main characters, in frequent episodes, and in the use of metaphors. 
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 popularised 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. [ citation needed ]
Thackeray visited Clevedon Court in Clevedon, Somerset in 1848 and the house was the inspiration for the setting of Castlewood.  His printers added to the period atmosphere of the novel by printing it entirely in Caslon types from the 1730s, using the long s. 
Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, published in 1811. It was published anonymously; By A Lady appears on the title page where the author's name might have been. It tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne as they come of age. They have an older half-brother, John, and a younger sister, Margaret.
William Makepeace Thackeray was a British novelist, author and illustrator. He is known for his satirical works, particularly his 1848 novel Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of British society, and the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon, which was adapted for a 1975 film by Stanley Kubrick.
Vanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, which follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published as a 19-volume monthly serial from 1847 to 1848, carrying the subtitle Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society, which reflects both its satirisation of early 19th-century British society and the many illustrations drawn by Thackeray to accompany the text. It was published as a single volume in 1848 with the subtitle A Novel without a Hero, reflecting Thackeray's interest in deconstructing his era's conventions regarding literary heroism. It is sometimes considered the "principal founder" of the Victorian domestic novel.
Anthony Trollope was an English novelist and civil servant of the Victorian era. Among his best-known works is a series of novels collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire. He also wrote novels on political, social, and gender issues, and other topical matters.
The Luck of Barry Lyndon is a picaresque novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, first published as a serial in Fraser's Magazine in 1844, about a member of the Irish gentry trying to become a member of the English aristocracy. Thackeray, who based the novel on the life and exploits of the Anglo-Irish rake and fortune-hunter Andrew Robinson Stoney, later reissued it under the title The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. The novel is narrated by Lyndon himself, who functions as a quintessentially unreliable narrator.
Sir Richard Steele was an Anglo-Irish writer, playwright, and politician, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine The Spectator.
The Last Chronicle of Barset is a novel by English author Anthony Trollope, published in 1867. It is the sixth and final book in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series, preceded by The Small House at Allington. The novel is set in the county of Barsetshire and deploys characters from the earlier novels, whilst concentrating on the personnel associated with the cathedral. The main narrative thread is catalyzed by the loss of a cheque which had been in the possession of the Reverend Josiah Crawley, and the subsequent reactions of his friends and enemies. Trollope drew inspiration from his father and mother in the creation of the Rev. and Mrs. Crawley. In his autobiography, Trollope regards this novel as "the best novel I have written.", though later commentators do not agree with this judgement. The serialization was illustrated by G H Thomas who was selected by the publisher, though Trollope had wished for Millais who had illustrated The Small House.
The Way We Live Now is a satirical novel by Anthony Trollope, published in London in 1875 after first appearing in serialised form. It is one of the last significant Victorian novels to have been published in monthly parts.
Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope is the third novel in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series, between Barchester Towers and Framley Parsonage. The idea of the plot was suggested to Trollope by his brother Thomas. Though set in Barsetshire, Barchester and its familiar residents have little part in the narrative. Most of the narrative is based in the village of Greshamsbury, the seat of squire John Newbold Gresham, of an old and respected family, and his wife Lady Arabella, sister of the Earl de Courcy. They have a son and several daughters.
Can You Forgive Her? is a novel by Anthony Trollope, first published in serial form in 1864 and 1865. It is the first of six novels in the Palliser series, also known as the Parliamentary Novels.
The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy (1848–50) is a novel by the English author William Makepeace Thackeray. It is set in 19th-century England, particularly in London. The main hero is a young English gentleman Arthur Pendennis, who is born in the country and sets out for London to seek his place in life and society. The novel took two years for Thackeray to write and, in line with other Thackeray works, most notably Vanity Fair, it offers an insightful and satiric picture of human character and aristocratic society. The characters include the snobbish social hanger-on Major Pendennis and the tipsy Captain Costigan. Miss Amory and Sir Francis Clavering are somewhat reminiscent of Becky Sharp and Sir Pitt from Vanity Fair.
The Palliser novels are novels written in series by Anthony Trollope. They were more commonly known as the Parliamentary novels prior to their 1974 television dramatisation by the BBC broadcast as The Pallisers. Marketed as "polite literature" during their initial publication, the novels encompass several literary genres including: family saga, bildungsroman, picaresque, as well as satire and parody of Victorian life, and criticism of the English government's predilection for attracting corrupt and corruptible people to power.
Cousin Henry is a novel by Anthony Trollope first published in 1879. The story deals with the trouble arising from the indecision of a squire in choosing an heir to his estate.
Kept in the Dark is a novel by the 19th-century English novelist Anthony Trollope. One of his lesser and later works, it nonetheless has interest. It was published in eight monthly installments in Good Words in 1882, and also in book form in the same year.
The Virginians: A Tale of the Last Century (1857–59) is a historical novel by William Makepeace Thackeray which forms a sequel to his Henry Esmond and is also loosely linked to Pendennis.
A Shabby Genteel Story is an early and unfinished novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. It was first printed among other stories and sketches in his collection Miscellanies. A note in Miscellanies by Thackeray, dated 10 April 1857, describes it as "only the first part" of a longer story which was "interrupted at a sad period of the writer's own life" and never subsequently completed. He also describes it as being written "seventeen years ago", therefore c. 1840. This was the period when Thackeray's wife became mentally unstable, throwing his personal life into confusion.
The American Senator is a novel written in 1875 by Anthony Trollope. Although not one of Trollope's better-known works, it is notable for its depictions of rural English life and for its many detailed fox hunting scenes. In its anti-heroine, Arabella Trefoil, it presents a scathing but ultimately sympathetic portrayal of a woman who has abandoned virtually all scruples in her quest for a husband. Through the eponymous Senator, Trollope offers comments on the irrational aspects of English life.
Lady Anna is a novel by Anthony Trollope, written in 1871 and first published in book form in 1874. The protagonist is a young woman of noble birth who, through an extraordinary set of circumstances, has fallen in love with and become engaged to a tailor. The novel describes her attempts to resolve the conflict between her duty to her social class and her duty to the man she loves.
The Belton Estate is a novel by Anthony Trollope, written in 1865. The novel concerns itself with a young woman who has accepted one of two suitors, then discovered that he was unworthy of her love. It was the first novel published in the Fortnightly Review.
The Claverings is a novel by Anthony Trollope, written in 1864 and published in 1866–67. It is the story of a young man starting out in life, who must find himself a profession and a wife; and of a young woman who makes a marriage of convenience and must accept the consequences of her decision.
The house is considered to be the original of “Castlewood” in Thackeray’s Esmond.....