of Luxury: Radical
Lund, Michael, Reading Thackeray, Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1988
McMaster, Rowland, Thackeray's Cultural Frame of Reference: Allusion in "The Newcomes," London: Macmillan, 1990; Montreal and Buffalo, New York: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991
Thomas, Deborah A., Thackeray and Slavery, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1993
Ostensibly a detective story, That Awful Mess on Via Merulana is set in Rome in 1927, with frequent and scathing reference to the omnipresence of Mussolini and the byzantine machinations of the bureaucracy of his regime. Written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Fascism, it was published in part in serial form in 1946, appearing in its present form only in 1957.