Tower Gallery, opening 14 October 2021
Novelist, biographer, wife, mother, eldest daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray. These were just some of the roles of Anne Thackeray Ritchie. This exhibition, based on an extensive archive of over 1000 letters, family albums and other personal papers in Eton College Library is the first dedicated to her in her own right.
Set against the backdrop of a wide and high-profile social circle and the ever-changing landscape of the Victorian age and the First World War, the exhibition takes us on a journey through the colourful life of a woman her step-niece Virginia Woolf described as ‘the unacknowledged source of much that remains in men’s minds about the Victorian age’.
From her childhood based largely in Paris and her role as her father’s companion and amanuensis, to her own career as a writer, she moved in a literary scene that included Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Henry James and Rudyard Kipling among many others.
Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s own literary ventures began first as an internationally respected novelist, before developing as a biographer. Although initially reluctant to write about her father, she is responsible for much of how the Thackeray name is remembered.
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