Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

by William Makepeace Thackeray
3.5 36

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Overview

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success thanthe alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the social ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour of English society in the early 1800s, battles—military and domestic—are fought, fortunes made and lost. The one steadfast and honorable figure in this corrupt world is Dobbin, devoted to Amelia, bringing pathos and depth to William Thackeray's gloriously satirical epic of love and social adventure.

Author Biography: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863) was born in Calcutta but sent to England at the age of six. A journalist for many years, he wrote many novels with a socially satirical edge, including The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. and, most famously, Vanity Fair.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780007902170
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/28/2011

About the Author

William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta in 1811. He was sent to England in 1817 and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Following a period of gambling, unsuccessful investments and a brief career as a lawyer, he turned to writing and drawing. In 1836 he married Isabella Shawe; following the birth of their second daughter, her mental health deteriorated and she had to be permanently supervised by a private nurse. Thackeray's first novel, Catherine, was published in 1839-40. Following the success of Vanity Fair (1847-8) he was able to devote himself to fiction, and his other notable works include Pendennis (1849), The History of Henry Esmond (1852) and The Newcomes (1855). He also edited the commercially successful Cornhill Magazine, which published writers such as Tennyson, George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Thackeray died suddenly on Christmas Eve, 1863.

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Vanity Fair 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bring back the classics. We need them. Vanity Fair is one of Thackeray's most brilliant works that can compete with the best writings today. It deals principally with the lives of two young women, Miss Sedley and Miss Sharp and what they did after leaving school. It is about their loves, their ambitions, their terribly endearing families and most importantly, their dreams. The book openly and almost brutally describes the selfishness of human nature and the thousand little subtilities of everyday life during that time. Attitude towards women, status in society, the power of money and marriage are recurring themes in this delightful novel. Extremely unique characters like Miss. Crawley, Mr.Osbourne and Captain Dobbin give the book a splendid Dickensian touch. To me, it is an excellent read because like terrorism, it really makes you stop and take a step back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hair: Carmel, doen to her waist, naturally in loose curls. <p> Eyes: Grey, very pretty <p> Age: 17 <p> Looks: she mainly wears crop tops, t-shirts, flannels, for shirts, high waisted skinny jeans or joggers for pants, then many different shoes. She has full, soft lips btw. <p> Likes: making friend, cooking/baking, bad puns, hiking, swimming, etc. <p> Dislikes: clowns, bullies, etc. <p> Sexuality: Straight/Single :p <p> Other: just ask, peace ^~^
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Table of contents should be hyperlinked and under "content" tab so it is actually functional. Titles are off and words somtimes mispelled. Book itself is good.
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Vanity Fair is a thought provoking novel that highlights hypocrisy in high-class society. The story follows the lives of main characters, Amelia Sedley, and Rebecca Sharp, as they battle real troubles that plagued most women of the time. The novel highlights how these troubles change the perception of characters, as well as the changes in the characters themselves. Each character seems to face a different conflict; however, most of these problems are either character vs. society or character vs. character. Amelia is a fortunate, woman who has never had to work much for anything. Her kind disposition makes her seem very na&#239;ve and child-like. She is a compassionate character with a delicate heart. The youthful girl finds a sister in Becky, an attachment that she later grows to regret. Ultimately, Amelia learns that life can be cruel and unjust, but the people who truly care for her will always be by her side. Although the author states that the novel has no hero, Rebecca is often referred to by the author as the heroine of the story. She starts off as the poor orphaned daughter of an unrecognized artist, and must do anything she can to gain respect in high-class society. Becky can make friends and enemies quite easily. She will do what ever it takes to make a name for herself; however, some of her methods may seem unconventional. Becky's merciless grab for power is first noted in her attempt to find a husband. Of course, in Vanity Fair, a woman is only as respected as the man she marries. Becky spends a lapse of time with Amelia's family while waiting to be transported to Queen's Crawley. Here, she is introduced to Amelia's wealthy brother, Joseph. Becky commanded his attention, and nearly had his proposal for marriage, sadly, she had to take leave for her job as a governess. This is the first event that makes up the rising action of Vanity Fair. Later, Becky's employer, Sir Pitt Crawley, makes astonishing revelations to Becky. It is at the time of these announcements that she reveals shocking news of her own. Her announcement marks the second rising action of Vanity Fair. The climax, however, does not occur until long after this important point of the story. I found Vanity Fair to be very entertaining novel that gives a very strong statement about all of society. Thackeray captures the bitter betrayal of trust that exists between friends. His account of Becky's manipulating nature is stunning. This is shown when the author tells of how Becky knowingly controlled the heart of Amelia's husband. He truly poisons the mind with the idea that women- often thought to be delicate and genteel- are not only vain and manipulative, but also have the capacity to be brutally cruel to each other. The author often leaves it up to the reader to make conclusions and inferences. For example, towards the end of the novel, a certain death leaves the reader questioning the cause. The holes in his story are made up by his occasional commentary on certain events that have occurred. I also enjoyed that Thackeray uses historical events in his text. His account of the battle of Waterloo and the following years gives the reader a better sense of time elapsing. This novel may not be for everybody. I found it to be very entertaining, but the Thackeray's cynical satire and irony may not appeal to everyone. Overall, Vanity Fair is an enjoyable, stimulating novel.
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This book is very long, and the electronic editions, at least the free ones, tend not to include the entire book, so you will likely have to download a couple of editions to get the whole book. The descriptions of the e-books tend not to describe how much or what part of the book is included, so you will have to do some trial and error.