On the day of his birthday today I wish William Makepeace Thackeray to go and rot in hell. One of the most celebrated writers of the Victorian era he was the equal of Charles Dickens in his day. He thought of himself something of an expert on Irish affairs. A rabid anti-catholic bigot, under the nom de plume of Hibernis Hibernior he was the chief architect of the British image of Irish people in Punch Magazine.
It was Thackeray who created the image of the sly yet stupid Irish man. He portrayed us as lazy, brutish, feckless, drunkards, violent, criminal, apeish primitives. The stereotype of the Irish person he created dragged on for over 100 years, and is still simmering under the surface for certain groups in Britain, amongst Ulster Unionists, British Nationalists, UKIP supporters, Hard Brexiteers.
In particular when the Irish were at their lowest ebb, during the potato famine, Thackeray and his paymasters did not pull their Punches. Much of his “poetry” is spoken through his imagined voice of Irish protagonists. I refuse to print it here, or reference it. I hope it fades away and dies.
His novel “The Luck of Barry Lyndon” was filmed by Stanley Kubrick and is one of my favourite movies. This is all down the the genius of Kubrick, not to Thackeray. If you are a fan of Billy Makewar Hack-away then this is not the place for you.