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The Newcomes

William Makepeace Thackeray

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . to depict the sublime, graceful, and pathetic personages and events with which this history will most assuredly abound, and I doubt whether even the designer engaged in his place can make such a portrait of Miss Ethel Newcome as shall satisfy her friends and her own sense of justice. That blush which we have indicated, he cannot render. How are you to copy it with a steel point and a ball of printer's ink? That kindness which lights up the Colonel's eyes; gives an expression to the very wrinkles round about them; shines as a halo round his face;—what artist can paint it? The painters of old, when they portrayed sainted personages, were fain to have recourse to compasses and gold leaf—as if celestial splendour could be represented by Dutch metal! As our artist cannot come up to this task, the reader will be pleased to let his fancy paint for itself the look of courtesy for a woman, admiration for a young beauty, protection for an innocent child, all of which a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Although 213 people have given ratings to Thackeray’s Newcomes on Goodreads and 14 people have written reviews, I haven’t met anybody who has even heard of the book let alone read it. I’ve now read all 801 pages and enjoyed the novel, but I understand why it is largely forgotten. It is horribly o...more

This book was long and little confusing, particularly in the beginning - it was kind of all over the place. I liked the middle, but the end was a little melodramatic (not like Dickens, but very sentimental).

I didn't enjoy this as much as Thackeray's Vanity Fair, and I can understand why it's not read too much today (despite being very popular until about 100 years ago). While there are moments of both sly humor and true pathos to pull you in, it's not the kind of story that transcends its time. For...more

I picked up this book after reading Trollope's "Ralph the Heir," which mentions the main character of this book quite a number of times as a paragon of virtue and heroics. I was intrigued, and, the book happened to be sitting on my shelves.

For the first 400 pages this was the most rambling, not-...more

Was very good but also very long!

Given that it is more than 900 pages long, you can imagine that Thackeray tends to meander a bit. That said, I was taken by the contemporary nature of his tale: touching on prejudice, women's rights, the corruptive power of wealth, the false division by class, and even a pyramid scheme. He is ver...more

Pure early Victoriana - if that's your cup of tea, do enjoy. Generally engaging characters, the course of a fitful romance, takes place over a decade or so, mostly in London but also accounts of German spas and French provincial towns. Lots of topical references to the times. Might have been a be...more

The Newcomes is a book written by William Makepeace Thackeray during the Victorian era. It's one of his most 'Victorian' books to be written containing countless illusions and references towards a multitude of things before and of his time. Examples being Oliver Twist, The Arabian Nights, and Don...more

I really enjoyed this family saga (even though all these long books of Thackeray's are having a detrimental effect on my 2017 Reading Challenge). I love the way that Thackeray's characters pop up in different books - was he the originator of the companion novel? A very enjoyable read.

The Pendennises are way better in this than they are in Pendennis.

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