Catherine: A Story

威廉·梅克皮斯·萨克雷 William Makepeace Thackeray
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凯瑟琳的故事(Catherine: A Story)简介:

Catherine: A Story was the first full-length work of fiction produced by William Makepeace Thackeray. It first appeared in serialized installments in Fraser's Magazine between May 1839 and February 1840. Thackeray's original intention in writing it was to criticize the Newgate school of crime fiction, exemplified by Bulwer-Lytton and Harrison Ainsworth, whose works Thackeray felt glorified criminals. Thackeray even criticized Dickens for this failing for his portrayal of the good-hearted streetwalker Nancy and the charming pickpocket, the Artful Dodger, in Oliver Twist. The appearance of the first installments of Ainsworth's novel Jack Sheppard at the beginning of 1839 seems to have been what spurred Thackeray into action.

Jack Sheppard portrayed a real life prison breaker and thief from the eighteenth century in flattering terms. In contrast, Thackeray sought out a real life criminal whom he could portray in as unflattering terms as possible. He settled on Catherine Hayes, another eighteenth-century criminal, who was burned at the stake for murdering her husband in 1726. However, as he told his mother, Thackeray developed a "sneaking kindness" for his heroine,[1] and the novel that was supposed to present criminals as totally vile, without any redeeming characteristics, instead made Catherine and her roguish companions seem rather appealing. Thackeray felt the result was a failure, and perhaps as a result did not republish it in his lifetime. It has thus suffered from neglect, despite its good qualities, such as its rollicking sense of fun, its satirical touches, and a heroine who in some ways anticipates the much more famous Becky Sharp of Vanity Fair.


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  • 凯瑟琳的故事 Catherine: A Story