Barry Lyndon is a picaresque novel by William Makepeace Thackeray about a member of the Irish gentry trying to become a member of the English aristocracy. Redmond Barry of Bally Barry, born to a genteel but ruined Irish family, fancies himself a gentleman. He is a hot-tempered, passionate lad, and falls madly in love with his cousin, Nora. The lad tries to engage in a duel with Nora's suitor, an English officer named John Quinn. He is made to think that he has assassinated the man, though the pistols were actually loaded with dummy loads. Redmond flees to Dublin, where he quickly falls in with bad company in the way of con artists, and soon loses all his money. He goes on to experience a series of military adventures eventually descending into decadence. Redmond eventually bullies and seduces the Countess of Lyndon to marry him. Eventually Barry Lyndon is separated from his wife, and lodged in Fleet Prison. He spends the last nineteen years of his life in prison, dying of alcoholism-related illness.