William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863) was born in India before coming to England for a public school and Cambridge University education. He wanted to be an artist but had better luck with his pen. After ten years of jobbing work his first great success was Vanity Fair in 1847. Despite ill health, he continued writing monthly serials which established him as Dickens’s nearest rival. He died prematurely in his early fifties.