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Luck of Barry Lyndon


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A satirical historical novel by Thackeray, published in Fraser's Magazine 1844, republished under the title The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esquire, by Himself (1852, New York).

It is the picaresque story of an Irish adventurer. Redmond Barry flees from Ireland after a duel, wrongly believing he has killed his opponent. He serves in the Seven Years War, first in the English, then in the Prussian, army. He is set to spy upon the Chevalier de Balibari, who turns out to be his uncle Cornelius Barry. The two set up as card‐sharpers, and Barry becomes a successful gambler and man of fashion. He marries the wealthy countess of Lyndon, and takes her name. He spends her fortune and ill‐treats her and her son, showing affection only to his old mother and his own son Bryan, whom he indulges until the boy is killed in a riding accident. Finally the countess, with the help of her son Viscount Bullingdon, is released from Barry's hold over her. Barry is left penniless after the countess's death and ends his life miserably in the Fleet Prison.

Subjects: Literature.


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