Anne Thackeray Ritchie's Links with the Past: Nostalgic for Progress
Anne Thackeray Ritchie (1837-1919) was the eldest daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray and a writer of fiction, essays, and biography. She began her career anonymously in 1860 with the essay "Little Scholars" for the Cornhill Magazine, which was edited by her father. Over the next six decades, she wrote more than 100 periodical publications and built her reputation with five novels and two novellas, five books of short stories, five collections of essays, and, beginning in the 1880s, numerous biographical essays and memoirs about her father and his generation of literary friends. By the end of the nineteenth century, collections such as Records of Tennyson, Ruskin, and Browning (1892) and Chapters from Some Memoirs (1894) positioned Ritchie as an authority on a bygone era, and this reputation was only enhanced by Ritchie's biographical introductions to her father's complete works, which were first published between 1898 and 1899. 1 William Thackeray never wanted his biography written, and perhaps this refusal made the public even hungrier for one. In an early review of the still incomplete multivolume project, the Edinburgh Review expressed its "gratitude" to Ritchie: "[I]t would have been a kind of national misfortune if posterity had been left without some authentic record of his personal history." 2
English Literature in Transition
Malone, Katherine, "Anne Thackeray Ritchie's Links with the Past: Nostalgic for Progress" (2011). English Faculty Publications. 24.