Peaches and Plumbs Booksellers

The History of Pendennis


The History of Pendennis


Pendennis depicts the coming of age of one Arthur Pendennis who sets out to seek his place in life and society.

In line with other Thackeray's works, Pendennis offers an insightful and satiric picture of human character and aristocratic society; a masterly study of the character and development of a young man, lifelike and convincing because of his unheroic qualities and faulty human nature. (Thackeray arrives at deeper truths by being more willing to accept the darker side of every character.)

Pendennis begins his career as a spoiled but brilliant boy, adored by an unwise mother, and waited upon by his adopted sister Laura.

From this atmosphere of adulation and solicitude, Pendennis goes to university; but not before he has fallen in love with an actress ten years older than himself.

Then follows a London career as a writer and man of the world.

The test of his character is his conduct towards Fanny Bolton, a pretty girl of the lower class, who loves him innocently and whole-heartedly.

Pen loves her and leaves her as innocent as he found her, but unhappy.

His punishment comes in the shape of Blanche Amory, a flirt with a fortune. The double bait proves too much for Pen’s vanity.

Only after she has jilted him are his eyes opened. The sensible lesson being learned, he marries and enters upon a life of decency.    

His character throughout is drawn with admirable consistency. He is perhaps the most thoroughly human of Thackeray’s men.

WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY (1811-1863) was an 19th century English novelist famous for his brilliant satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a sardonic portrait of English society, and Barry Lyndon, a novel about a rascal’s rise and fall. Today he is esteemed by many as second only to Charles Dickens in his mastery of the modern novel.


Add To Cart