By William Makepeace Thackeray
I believe i may be a very good girl, if I had 5 thousand a year,” observes appealing and shrewdpermanent Becky Sharp, one of many wickedestand such a lot appealingwomen in all of literature. Becky is only one of the numerous attention-grabbing figures that populate William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair, a superbly satirical landscape of upper-middle-class existence and manners in London at the start of the 19th century.
Scorned for her loss of cash and breeding, Becky needs to use all her wit, appeal and massive intercourse attract get away her drab future as a governess. From London’s ballrooms to the battlefields of Waterloo, the bewitching Becky works her wiles on a gallery of memorable characters, together with her lecherous enterprise, Sir Pitt, his wealthy sister, omit Crawley, and Pitt’s speeding son, Rawdon, the 1st of Becky’s inaccurate sexual entanglements.
Filled with hilarious discussion and marvelous characterizations, Vanity Fair is a richly exciting comedy that asks the reader, Which people is worked up during this global? Which people has his wish? or, having it, is satisfied?”
Features greater than a hundred illustrations drawn by means of Thackeray himself for the preliminary publication.
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Additional resources for Vanity Fair (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
The Trinidadian historian, social critic, and activist intellectual C. L. R. James attested to reading vanity Fair regularly starting at the age of eight, learning the workings of the British class system while feeling their persistence in his own West Indian milieu; as James later commented, it was to Thackeray, even more than to Marx, that he owed his vocation. Worldly cynic, righteous prophet, tiresome companion, proto-Marxist social anatomist: the appellations are as contradictory as they are vivid and plausible.
Do not pretend, this voice admonishes us, that our individual modes of confronting the world (what we call our 舠personality舡) are anything but a cover for the emptiness that awaits us when alone. Thackeray, that is, is not interested in solitude per se but in the strange mixed condition of modern solitude, an aloneness that is situated squarely in the midst of a multitude. The novel is, after all, multitudinous, a vast panorama that takes in a wide range of geographical and social sites. Socially the novel traverses the range from the titled great舒Steyne and his hangers-on舒to the rural gentry, represented by the Pitt Crawleys, to the fashionable layers of London upper-middle-class society (which Thackeray delineates with great care), to the upwardly mobile middle-class elements within the city, to murkier layers of financial privation encountered by shopkeepers, small landowners, and even servants.
At some point in this period the novel舗s title had, momentously, changed. At first advertised to prospective publishers as 舠Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society,舡 and later 舠The Novel without a Hero舡舒titles that linger on in the subtitles of the novel舗s serial and book publications, respectively舒Thackeray seems to have had an epiphany of sorts in late 1847 during a working holiday in Brighton, when 舠Vanity Fair,舡 with its reference to John Bunyan舗s Protestant allegory Pilgrim舗s Progress (1678,1684) as well as the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes, suddenly seemed to summarize his novel.