William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was an English novelist, mostly known for his satirical works which were full of irony concerning the English society of those times. His most famous work is a novel entitled 'Vanity Fair', first published in 1847. This novel is a bright example of Thackeray's style of writing, which features realistic but at the same time rather pessimistic view on life. Opposite to usual English novel with it's idealised characters, central figures in his works are egoistic and viceous.
As many other works by Thackeray, 'Cathrine: A Story' first appeared as a series, in 1839-1840. It was the first Thackeray's story of full lenght, and he planned it to be a piece of prose opposing the current literary tradition in England. Writers of those time always idealised their characters, even if they were criminals, and even Dickens wrote in that way. The crimninal character of this story, Catharine Hayes, is portrayed in most unflattering colors. This character is based on the life of a real woman of the same name.
Read this brilliant story and soak up the atmosphere of good old England!