The History of Henry Esmond

The History of Henry Esmond

The History of Henry Esmond, Esq.: A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty, Queen Anne is an historical novel by Thackeray, in which Henry Esmond tells his own story as a memoir. While the author credits state, "Written By Himself" it is clearly Thackeray's authorship, and a fine example of a Victorian historical novel with interwoven events and characters, both real and imagined, from 17th- and 18th-century England. Oscar Wilde observed: "Thackeray's Esmond is a beautiful work of art because he wrote it to please himself."

The History of Henry Esmond, Queen AnneThe History of Henry Esmond, John Hoppner, Unknown British Officer, 1800The History of Henry Esmond, The Battle of Blenheim, 1704

Table of Contents


Preface - The Esmonds of Virginia

Book I - The Early Youth of Henry Esmond

Chapter I - An Account of the Family of Esmond of Castlewood Hall

Chapter II - Relates How Francis Fourth Viscount Arrives at Castlewood

Chapter III - Whiter in the Time of Thomas, Third Viscount

Chapter IV - I Am Placed Under a Popish Priest and Bred to That Religion

Chapter V - My Superiors are Involved in Plots for the Restoration of King James II

Chapter VI - The Issue of the Plots

Chapter VII - I Am Left at Castlewood an Orphan

Chapter VIII - After Good Fortune Comes Evil

Chapter IX - I Have the Smallpox, and Prepare to Leave Castlewood

Chapter X - I Go to Cambridge, and Do But Little Good There

Chapter XI - I Come Home for a Holiday to Castlewood

Chapter XII - My Lord Mohun Comes Among Us for No Good

Chapter XIII - My Lord Leaves Us and His Evil Behind Him

Chapter XIV - We Ride After Him to London

Book II - Mr. Esmond's Military Life, and Other Matters

Chapter I - I Am In Prison, and Visited, But Not Consoled There

Chapter II - I Come to the End of My Captivity, But Not of My Trouble

Chapter III - I Took the Queen's Pay in Quin's Regiment

Chapter IV - Recapitulations

Chapter V - I Go on the Vigo Bay Expedition, Taste Salt, and Smell Powder

Chapter VI - The 29th December

Chapter VII - I Am Made Welcome at Walcote

Chapter VIII - Family Talk

Chapter IX - I Make the Campaign of 1704

Chapter X - An Old Story About a Fool and a Woman

Chapter XI - The Famous Mr. Joseph Addison

Chapter XII - I Get a Company in the Campaign of 1706

Chapter XIII - I Meet an Old Acquaintance in Flanders

Chapter XIV - The Campaign of 1707, 1708

Chapter XV - General Webb Wins the Battle of Wynendael

Book III - Containing the End of Mr. Esmond's Adventures

Chapter I - I Come to An End of My Battles and Bruises

Chapter II - I Go Home and Harp on the Old String

Chapter III - A Paper Out of the "Spectator."

Chapter IV - Beatrix's New Suitor

Chapter V - Mohun Appears for the Last Time in This History

Chapter VI - Poor Beatrix

Chapter VII - I Visit Castlewood Once More

Chapter VIII - I Travel to France and Bring Home a Portrait of Rigaud

Chapter IX - The Origin of the Portrait Comes to England

Chapter X - We Entertain a Very Distinguished Guest at Kensington

Chapter XI - Our Guest Quits Us as Not Being Hospitable Enough

Chapter XII - A Great Scheme, and Who Balked It

Chapter XIII - August 1st, 1714

Return to the William Makepeace Thackeray library.

© 2022