Originally published in 1999, David's much-praised biography has been reissued by Vintage paperbacks to mark Thackeray's bi-centenary.

Vanity Fair, published in serial parts in 1847-8, made Thackeray famous - 'all but at the top of the tree', he told his mother, 'and having a great fight up thete with Dickens.' Behind him lay an extraordinary life - an intense, Anglo-Indian childhood, a fortune lost by his early twenties, a distastrous marriage to a wife who went mad and left him to bring up two small daughters in penury. As Thackeray shows, its subject was a complex, touchy man, acutely sensitive to criticism and fearful of the publicity that accompanies his passage through life.

'Brilliant...A most enjoyable and skilful biography'  -  A.N. Wilson, Literary Review

'An accomplished, responsible, imaginative reconstruction of life, and of a life. Thackeray has come home.'  -  Victoria Glendinning, Spectator

Wonderful...An outstanding biography. It is unlikely there will be a better one for years.'  - Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday