Authors & Events
Oct 15, 1991
| ISBN 9780679405665
Dec 27, 2005
| ISBN 9780553902204
Nov 01, 2000
| ISBN 9780679642015
Jan 01, 1989
| 2070 Minutes
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Oct 15, 1991 | ISBN 9780679405665
Dec 27, 2005 | ISBN 9780553902204
Nov 01, 2000 | ISBN 9780679642015
Jan 01, 1989 | ISBN 9781415909775
A panoramic satire of English society during the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair is William Makepeace Thackeray’s masterpiece. At its center is one of the most unforgettable characters in nineteenth-century literature: the enthralling Becky Sharp, a charmingly ruthless social climber who is determined to leave behind her humble origins, no matter the cost. Her more gentle friend Amelia, by contrast, only cares for Captain George Osborne, despite his selfishness and her family’s disapproval. As both women move within the flamboyant milieu of Regency England, the political turmoil of the era is matched by the scheming Becky’s sensational rise—and its unforeseen aftermath.
Based in part upon Thackeray’s own love for the wife of a friend, Vanity Fair portrays the hypocrisy and corruption of high society and the dangers of unrestrained ambition with epic brilliance and scathing wit. With an introduction by Catherine Peters.
"I do not say there is no character as well drawn in Shakespeare [as D’Artagnan]. I do say there is none that I love so wholly."–Robert Louis Stevenson"The lasting and universal popularity of The Three Musketeers shows that Dumas, by artlessly expressing his own nature in the persons of his heroes, was responding to that craving for action, strength and generosity which is a fact in all periods and all places."–Andreé Maurois
A marvelous, incisive social satire that gleefully exposes the greed and corruption raging in England during the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars through its tracing of the changing fortunes of two unforgettable women. It is a comic masterpiece that still resonates today."Re-reading Vanity Fair, one realises what a brilliant innovation this was in the English novel," remarked V. S. Pritchett. "Thackeray is like the modern novelists who derive from James and Proust, in his power of dissecting (and of desiccating!) character."Generally considered to be his masterpiece, Vanity Fair is Thackeray’s resplendent social satire that exposes the greed and corruption raging in England during the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars. Subtitled "A Novel Without a Hero," it traces the changing fortunes of two unforgettable women: the scheming opportunist Becky Sharp—one of literature’s most resourceful, engaging, and amoral heroines—and her foil, the faithful, naive Amelia Sedley. Thackeray’s subversive, comic attack on the hypocrisy and "dismal roguery" of an avaricious world resonates 150 years later with implications for our own times."Thackeray is an urbane nineteenth-century guide and commentator in a portrait gallery that is for all time," observed Louis Auchincloss. "He is the restless inhabitant of a prudish age, nostalgic, discursive, anecdotal, sentimental, worldly-wise, now warning us, now making fun of us, now reproving us …. Thackeray’s harshest criticism of humanity is simply the point where ours commences. His perception of self-interest in every act is the ABC of modem psychology."
William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1811, but was sent to England at the age of six. After his education at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge, having gambled away much of his fortune at university, he… More about William Makepeace Thackeray
“Vanity Fair was Thackeray’s masterpiece. Subversive, funny, complex and serious, it is the work of an intellectual athlete at the height of his powers.”—from the Introduction by Catherine Peters
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