August 1, 1997
August 1, 1997
Two heroines--one humble, the other scheming--meet in boarding school and embark on very different lives, both experiencing affairs of love and war and the rise and fall of fortune, in a classic study of the dogged pursuit of wealth and status. Reissue.
VANITY FAIR, Thackeray's panoramic, satirical saga of corruption at all levels of English society, was published in 1847 but set during the Napoleonic Wars. It chronicles the lives of two women who could not be more different: Becky Sharp, an orphan whose only resources are her vast ambitions, her native wit, and her loose morals; and her schoolmate Amelia Sedley, a typically naive Victorian heroine, the pampered daughter of a wealthy family. Becky's fluctuating fortunes eventually bring her to an affair with Amelia's dissolute husband; when he is killed at Waterloo, Amelia and her child are left penniless, while Becky and her husband Rawdon Crawley rise in the world, managing to lead a high life in London solely on the basis of their shrewdness. (The chapter entitled "How to Live on Nothing" is a classic.) Thackeray's subtitle, "A Novel Without a Hero," is understating the case; his view of humanity in this novel is distinctly bleak and deliberately antiheroic. Critics of the time misunderstood the book, decrying it as (among other things) vicious, vile, and odious. But VANITY FAIR has endured as one of the great comic novels of all time, and a landmark in the history of realism in fiction.
- Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Subgenre: General, Literary, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Society + Social Issues, Classics, Human Qualities + Behavior, Family + Friendship, Humorous Fiction, Types of Characters
- Edition: Reissue
- Language: English
- Author: William Makepeace Thackeray
- Online Item #: 11993687
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 248-31-9676
- ISBN: 9780553214628
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported