Catherine: A Story

Author: William Makepeace Thackeray


The story of "Catherine," which appeared in Fraser’s Magazine in 1839-40, was written by Mr. Thackeray, under the name of Ikey Solomons, Jun., to counteract the injurious influence of some popular fictions of that day, which made heroes of highwaymen and burglars, and created a false sympathy for the vicious and criminal.

With this purpose, the author chose for the subject of his story a woman named Catherine Hayes, who was burned at Tyburn, in 1726, for the deliberate murder of her husband, under very revolting circumstances. Mr. Thackeray’s aim obviously was to describe the career of this wretched woman and her associates with such fidelity to truth as to exhibit the danger and folly of investing such persons with heroic and romantic qualities.


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William Makepeace Thackeray

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Chicago: William Makepeace Thackeray, "Advertisement," Catherine: A Story, ed. Macaulay, G. C. (George Campbell), 1852-1915 and trans. Curtin, Jeremiah, 1835-1906 in Catherine: A Story (Boston: John W. Luce and Company, 1911), Original Sources, accessed December 6, 2022,

MLA: Thackeray, William Makepeace. "Advertisement." Catherine: A Story, edited by Macaulay, G. C. (George Campbell), 1852-1915, and translated by Curtin, Jeremiah, 1835-1906, in Catherine: A Story, Boston, John W. Luce and Company, 1911, Original Sources. 6 Dec. 2022.

Harvard: Thackeray, WM, 'Advertisement' in Catherine: A Story, ed. and trans. . cited in 1911, Catherine: A Story, John W. Luce and Company, Boston. Original Sources, retrieved 6 December 2022, from