Anny: A Life of Anne Isabella Thackery Ritchie by Henrietta Garnett - review by Frances Spalding

Frances Spalding

Gay At Heart

Anny: A Life of Anne Isabella Thackery Ritchie


Chatto & Windus 322pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

ANNY THACKERAY (1837-1919), elder daughter of the famous Victorian author and a popular novelist in her own right, had a habit of losing things, of muddling her proof and mixing up times and dates. (She frequently dated her letters 'Yesterday'.) Her vagueness has her head and one of them is a mistake', even confuses DJ Taylor, who, in his biography of Thackeray, misspells her name.

But there was another side to her nature, which explains why she was widely loved and admired. 'She has the minimum of commonsense, but quite the maximum of good feeling9, wrote Henry James, who also notes her 'extreme good nature and erratic infected her posthumous reputation. It infiltrates the recollections

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