Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863. William Makepeace Thackeray drawings for
Adventures of a French count : Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HEW 12.12.6
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863.
Title: William Makepeace Thackeray drawings for Adventures of a French count ,
Quantity: 1 Volumes (26 x 34 cm.)
Abstract: An album containing a series of 26 original drawings by British novelist William Makepeace
Part of the Harry Elkins Widener Collection.
Formerly part of the collection of Eyre Crowe.
Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
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William Makepeace Thackeray Drawings for Adventures of a French count (HEW 12.12.6). Harry Elkins Widener Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was a British novelist.
Eyre Crowe (1824-1910) was a British painter of historical subjects, domestic genre
and portraits. He was the elder brother of the art historian J. A. Crowe and cousin
to Thackeray. His father was Eyre Evans Crowe.
Drawings in pencil and ink in an album. This album belonged to the family of Eyre Evans Crowe (1799-1868) while they were living in Paris, in the late 1830s. Thackeray was a cousin
who would visit in the evening and, to amuse the children, he would tell stories while
sketching. The drawings apparently poke fun at Thackery's friend, artist John Grant Brine. The album reportedly remained in the hands of the Crowe family from that time on. [See item (27) for detailed information].
Inside album cover is annotated (in unidentified hand): "Adventures of a French Count,
unpublished story in 19 pictures, with text, by W.M. Thackeray. From the collection
of Eyre Crowe. One of the finest Thackeray items in existence! This should be published
as it is one of the most humorous works."
- (1). [Gentleman kneeling beside a lady]. 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 13 x 13 cm.
Includes no text.
- (4). Stretched on the rack, His excellency refused altogether to forswear the doctrines
of Luther-. 1 drawing : ink on paper ; 15 x 25 cm.
Drawn on same sheet as item (5).
- (6). [Woman sitting against a wall, while another woman walks away in distance]. 1 drawing : ink on paper ; 21 x 16 cm.
Includes no text.
- (8). The Count, cuts off the heads of his opponents, but does not answer the question . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 13 x 25 cm.
Drawn on same sheet as item (7).
- (9). Another view of the same such is the ingratitude of Princes . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 33 x 25 cm.
- (10). Lo the Count proposes Marriage . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 25 x 33 cm.
Text continues: To the Queen of all the land. Passing in her handsome carriage, Driving
has? her two in hand.
- (11). The Count dreams of the Queen . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 18 x 25 cm.
Drawn on same sheet as item (12).
- (12). And coming to his rendezvous discovers that she is only the fat housemaid . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 15 x 25 cm.
Drawn on same sheet as item (11).
- (14). Wonderful effects of the Count's Serenade . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 13 x 25 cm.
Drawn on same sheet as item (13).
- (20). Artist painting a portrait of his Ximena, the Count is interrupted by some visitors . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 25 x 33 cm.
- (21). [Artist showing visitors his portrait]. 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 25 x 33 cm.
Includes no text.
- (22). Having joined the Syrian expedition he makes a sketch of the mountain . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 17 x 25 cm.
Drawn on same sheet as item (23).
- (23). To his astonishment while sketching, the mountain rises . 1 drawing : pencil on paper ; 17 x 25 cm.
Drawn on same sheet as item (22).
- (27). Crowe, Eyre, 1824-1910. Letter to Lady Asta? Crowe, 1898 December 9. 1 loose item.
This letter accompanied the album and explains the circumstances of the execution
of the drawings, as well as the provenance: "They [the drawings] recall the pleasant
time in years gone by when we boys and girls were in Paris and when Thackeray and
his charming wife accompanying him, used to pay evening visits to our parents. William
Makepeace would on these occasions ask for the album and on each successive occasion,
would draw for our amusement the series of illustrations, which have been kept by
the family ever since that time. The relish of us onlookers was the greater from the
fact that the principal figure, delineated in wonderful grotesque humour, was an exact
Portrait of an excentric Artist, John Grant."