Hardcover ✓ Vanity Fair ePUB å

Hardcover ✓ Vanity Fair ePUB å


Vanity Fair ❮Epub❯ ➝ Vanity Fair Author William Makepeace Thackeray – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk A novel that chronicles the lives of two women who could not bedifferent Becky Sharp, an orphan whose only resources are her vast ambitions, her native wit, and her loose morals and her schoolmate Ame A novel that chronicles the lives of two women who could not bedifferent 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.


10 thoughts on “Vanity Fair

  1. Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) says:

    Here I am, 54 years old, and for the very first time reading William Makepeace Thackeray s Vanity Fair Vanity Fair A Novel without a Hero I disagree with Thackeray The Hero of Vanity Fair is the steadfast and stalwart William Dobbin of that there is no doubt This novel is not the coming of age, or bildungsroman, of Becky Sharp No, Miss Rebecca Sharp sprang from the womb enlivened with her desire to claw her way to the top She can t help it, and nor should she is she really any diffe Here I am, 54 years old, and for the very first time reading William Makepeace Thackeray s Vanity Fair Vanity Fair A Novel without a Hero I disagree with Thackeray The Hero of Vanity Fair is the steadfast and stalwart William Dobbin of that there is no doubt This novel is not the coming of age, or bildungsroman, of Becky Sharp No, Miss Rebecca Sharp sprang from the womb enlivened with her desire to claw her way to the top She can t help it, and nor should she is she really any different than any of us No, she s not It is her methods that vary from what you and I might use or do they To me, the narrator s voice in the novel was most amazing It seemed that at every opportune moment, the narrator took a step back and informed us, the reader, of some nugget, some little moral, that placed the actions of the participants in the Fair in context Vanity Fair is with us, all around us and many times we never fully understand the roles that the players play This voice of reason grounds us makes us understand the joy, the pain, the happiness, and the sorrow that accompanies each of us in our journey through life If we care to, we can learn to become better parents, better husbands, better wives, and better friends.I also learned through the course of the novel that I can t outright condemn Becky Sharp Becky is perhaps not a woman easily liked, but she is an admirable woman, a tough woman, and a woman I can respect Strong minded and willed, a terrible mother, but a battle axe to those who take her head on Miss Becky Sharp Mrs Rawdon Crawley is committed to living life at its fullest, and not one jot less She is a woman of purpose, and that is a rare quality in many people.The novel drips with satire from page to page it is full of wit and sardonic humor It is through the use of satire that we realize that the characters at the Fair are us have been us, and always will be us generation after generation, and nothing will change only the time will change There will always be Lord Steynes, Jos Sedleys, Old Osbornes, Mother Sedleys, Sir Pitt Crawleys, Miss Crawleys, the George Osbornes, William Dobbins, and Amelias Our task, according to Thackeray, is to figure out how best to treat them, how best to interact and understand them, how to live with them The real challenge, however, is how best to love, appreciate, and care for the Miss Becky Sharps in our lives We do deserve to know her, to care for her, to appreciate her for whom she is, and she deserves to be brought in from the rambunctiousness and vagaries of the Fair.In the end, it is Miss Sharp that gains at least some measure of redemption It is she, and she alone, that removes the mote from Amelia s eyes regarding her feelings for William Dobbin For Becky Sharp does understand honor, virtue, and integrity or, does she Thackeray finishes appropriately For truly it can be said, Vanitas Vanitatum Which of us is happy in this world Which of us has his desire or, having it, is satisfied Come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out A magnificent novel from start to finish


  2. Bionic Jean Bionic Jean says:

    Written in 1848, Vanity Fair is an excellent satire of English society in the early 19th Century Thackeray states several times that it is a novelwithout a hero , and at a couple of points tries to claim that Amelia, a good person but who inevitably comes across as rather wishy washy, is the heroine But we all know that a bad girl or boy is infinitelyinteresting than a good girl or boy, so I suspect Thackeray of dissembling even here Becky Sharp is out and out the anti hero ine Written in 1848, Vanity Fair is an excellent satire of English society in the early 19th Century Thackeray states several times that it is a novelwithout a hero , and at a couple of points tries to claim that Amelia, a good person but who inevitably comes across as rather wishy washy, is the heroine But we all know that a bad girl or boy is infinitelyinteresting than a good girl or boy, so I suspect Thackeray of dissembling even here Becky Sharp is out and out the anti hero ine in this book, which could well have been named,The Rise and Fall of Rebecca Sharp.Thackeray apparently saw people asabominably selfish and foolish , and this negative view comes across loud and clear with his use of vicious vocabulary, and his unremittingly dark portrayal of human nature The author s voice is continually present, and his wry observations do contribute to making the novel vastly entertaining They were also intended to make it instructive to his readers.Interestingly the author makes a habit of commenting on particular instances of female behaviour, and drawing from this to make a general observation of all women At first the reader is inclined to think how astute this is how well Thackeray knows women and how unusual and refreshing it is to find this in a male writer of his day However, these observations are invariably judgemental, whereas he tends not to apply the same maxims to his male characters The men are seen muchas individuals A modern reader becomes uneasy with this after a while it begins to seem less witty and apt, and in fact rather tiresome.Here is an example of Thackeray s views on womenWhat do men know about women s martyrdoms We should go mad had we to endure the hundredth part of those daily pains which are meekly borne by many women Ceaseless slavery meeting with no reward constant gentleness and kindness met by cruelty as constant love, labour, patience, watchfulness without even so much as the acknowlegement of a good word all this, how many of them have to bear in quiet, and appear abroad with cheerful faces as if they felt nothing Tender slaves that they are, they must needs be hypocrites and weakThackeray s perceived audience will have been male readers, of course, and this is clear when he addresses the reader personally referring toyour wife , your sisteroryour servants And the audience will have been educated, land owning white males at that Some of the witty observations about an heiress from St Kitts, or a black manservant calledSambomake the modern reader cringe The author is scathing about all his characters partialities and weaknesses, yet because he is a man of his time, culture and class, he cannot see his own prejudices, complacently considering that this is the only correct stance.Vanity Fair was serialised in 20 monthly parts As with other novels which were originally issued in this way, the structure is not as tight as the reader would wish There are great swathes of writing about charades, or a play, or a battle, which are rather flabby Some parts seem very ponderous, or lead nowhere, whereas others are extremely witty and or exciting Authors such as Thackeray and Dickens to whom this applied for nearly all of his novels would surely have wished to edit their work, or even rewritten scenes or altered characters, had they had the opportunity It is incredible to a modern reader that they fared as well as they did under this draconian regime And it is therefore unfair to compare this with thestructured later novels, as it is not a level playing fieldVanity Fair is a wicked foolish place, full of all sorts of humbugs and falsenesses and pretensions, states the author This theme ofVanity Fairis reiterated over and over again, and throughout the reader will be thinking that nothing has changed over a century later Thackeray s observations of human behaviour are so apposite, the descriptions of situations, personalities, expressed motives and hidden motives which are inevitably very different are timeless And this of course, coupled with the deliciously droll manner of Thackeray s writing, is what makes this novel a classic It is hugely entertaining in parts, and would have been a 5 star novel had Thackeray s voice and attitudes not been quite so dominant throughout EDIT Interestingly each monthly installment of Vanity Fair only ever sold 5000 copies at the most At the same time, the hugely popular figure Charles Dickens was publishing his novelDombey and Son , which was also being serialised by the same publisher Before long the episodes ofDombey and Sonwere selling 40,000 copies per month eight times as many Yet of the two, nowadays, probably Vanity Fair is thepopular


  3. Kelly Kelly says:

    But as we are to see a great deal of Amelia, there is no harm in saying, at the outset of our acquaintance, that she was a dear little creature And a great mercy it is, both in life and in novels, which and the latter especially abound in villains of the most sombre sort that we are to have for a companion so guileless and good natured a person As she is not a heroine, there is no need to describe her person indeed I am afraid that her nose was rather too short than otherwise and her cheekBut as we are to see a great deal of Amelia, there is no harm in saying, at the outset of our acquaintance, that she was a dear little creature And a great mercy it is, both in life and in novels, which and the latter especially abound in villains of the most sombre sort that we are to have for a companion so guileless and good natured a person As she is not a heroine, there is no need to describe her person indeed I am afraid that her nose was rather too short than otherwise and her cheeks a good deal too round and red for a heroine I just chose this passage randomly out of the first few pages of the novel to illustrate how much I love Thackeray s voice He himself is the best character in the novel To use theatre terminology, he definitely breaks the 4th wall into the story quite frequently Reading it is rather like watching the play, but with periodic pauses for the playwright to jump up on stage and offer his commentary upon the action, and also upon his perceptions of the feelings of those watching his creation Thackeray himself terms the Vanity Fair his comment on society in general a sort of play This might sound annoying to some, but, really, it isn t If you re already reading the book critically I suppose it could also be compared to reading a chunk of a book for class and then stopping to discuss your reactions with a professor determined to make you see things beyond the surface and expose whatever prejudices you might have against the book I loved debating with Thackeray in interpreting scenes and actions The margins are filled with my disagreements or indulgence of his point of view And I almost never write in books It was irresistable in this case It is as interesting trying to draw a portrait of Thackeray s character as it is the rest of them He is sometimes defensive, sometimes judgemental of his audience, at times quietly insightful, at times ironic, at times as gleeful as a child at some trick he believes he s played upon us You can just see him cackling over his writing, clapping his hands when he thinks of something good and scribbling away furiously into the night He makes the tale seem brightly, urgently alive just in the sheer immediacy of his feeling and force of personality.Right As to the story itself Very solid, old fashioned tale of love, war, betrayal, money, family All the standards for an epic But in the way it is executed, it is anything but standard Particularly for its time It was subtitled, the novel without a hero, by Thackeray It is a book filled with, as the best are, very grey characters with motivations and actions sometimes very hard to fathom The epitome of this is of course Becky Sharp, the main character if not the heroine, of the piece Capable of both acts of great kindness and selflessness, and sheer, naked cruelty when it suits her, it is hard to either condemn or praise the woman in the end I grew to root for her anyway, though She s awful, she really is, but she does seem to learn by the end of the book She changes, progresses, and all while getting everything she s ever really seemed to want She s ambitious and cutthroat, but manages to do well in a world that tries to slap her down at every turn Not that she doesn t deserve it sometimes, I will admit There is also astandard, sweeping love story for those of you in it for theconventional aspects The above described Amelia is involved in that plotline.Also This book has the best, the longest, the most throughly researched and detailed description of the battle of Waterloo that you are likely to find A huge chunk of the book is devoted to that day and the reaction to that day, and it is as epic a war novel as one could hope to find for that space of time.In some ways, I feel like Thackeray was trying to encompass his century as a whole, not just the very specific time of the Napoleonic wars He deals with class, money, ambition, war, roles and rights of women, questions of morality, and times that inevitably change and change again, pushing the old world and the old ways into ever faster irrelevance Just as the 19th century did I think Becky Sharp might well be a fitting symbol of the whole century she wants to rise high in society, she wants as much money as she can get her hands on, she wants the appearance of morality but doesn t much care for the actuality , she is from the lower class and spends the book working her way up the ladder tooth and nail through representatives of the old guard, at any cost to herself or others And yet, she still holds sentimental feelings for Amelia, for her husband, she does what she thinks is best for her son however controversial that might be and at whatever cost in pride , and she cannot quite bear to be completely alone I don t know I m really just remembering things I wrote down when I read this over two years ago, re piecing together theories, so I hope you ll forgive me if they re a wee incoherent.There isto it than that, but I do not think that any review of reasonable length can encompass everything in this book, particularly when I ve already rambled about my favorite things for so long, and things are already this disorganized Fitting, I suppose, in such a merrily chaotic book So I ll just leave you with the quote that I think explains and drives much of the action and is one of the major points of the novelVanitas Vanitatium Which of us is happy in this world Which of us has his desire Or having it, is satisfied


  4. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    1 I liked the company of Thackeray who is breezy, ebullient and cynical about everyone s motives And he s very confident too He thinks he knows everything, although there s not a word about how the poor live here, that s not his subject So he s like the mid 19th century version of Tom Wolfe or Jonathan Franzen, two authors among many others who also think they know everything I don t mind them thinking that It s a good quality in a writer who s trying to depict all of society.2 An examp 1 I liked the company of Thackeray who is breezy, ebullient and cynical about everyone s motives And he s very confident too He thinks he knows everything, although there s not a word about how the poor live here, that s not his subject So he s like the mid 19th century version of Tom Wolfe or Jonathan Franzen, two authors among many others who also think they know everything I don t mind them thinking that It s a good quality in a writer who s trying to depict all of society.2 An example of his cynical sermonizing here he waxes forth about our yours, mine postmortem fate Which of the dead are most tenderly and passionately deplored Those who love the survivors the least, I believe The death of a child occasions a passion of grief and frantic tears, such as your end, brother reader, will never inspire The death of an infant which scarce knew you, which a week s absence from you would have caused to forget you, will strike you downthan the loss of your closest friend and if you are old, as some reader of this may be or shall be old and rich or old and poor you may one day be thinking for yourself These people are very good round about me but they won t grieve too much when I am gone I am very rich, and they want my inheritance or very poor and they are tired of supporting me 3 I can t believe everyone who has read this has read every page For instance the eight pages of satire about the small German Duchy of Pumpernickel p 726 732 Or the detailed descriptions of charades at upper class parties p 594 601 Mother of God, these sections are unreadable This is what drags the rating down to 4.5 stars 4 Why is this book 800 pages long Many passages like this The house was dismantled the rich furniture and effects, the awful chandeliers and dreary blank mirrors packed away and hidden, the rich rosewood drawing room suite was muffled in straw, the carpets were rolled up and corded, the small select library of well bound books was stowed into two wine chests, and the whole paraphernalia rolled away in several enormous vans to the Pantechnicon, where they were to lie until Georgy s majority 5 The author breaks the fourth wall all the time, as they liked to do in the early ish days of novelling, before such stuff was frowned upon as being uncouth and inartistic So on p 296 we get In the course of the evening Rawdon got a little family note from his wife, which although he crumpled it up and burnt it instantly in the candle, we had the good luck to read over Rebecca s shoulderWe here means the author and the reader And later on page 721 whilst talking about his main characters holidaying in Germany he suddenly announces It was on this very tour that I, the present writer of a history of which every word is true, had the pleasure to see them first, and to make their acquaintance 6 The author is not embarrassed to jump in and comment directly on his characters, like this I like to dwell upon this period of her life, and to think that she was cheerful and happy You see she has not had too much of that sort of existence as yet, and has not fallen in the way of means to educate her tastes or her intelligence She has been domineered over hitherto by vulgar intellects It is the lot of many a woman You wouldn t get a modern novelist doing any such thing but it s kind of fun 7 He has a brilliant section called How to Live Well on Nothing a Year Essentially, you could maintain your place in well to do society by racking up credit extended to you by umpteen tradesmen and servants who would do it because you had a place in well to do society and robbing Peter to pay Paul continually plus, the wife would inveigle loans out of rich old guys who thought they might have a chance to get something going with her and the husband would contribute with winnings from cards and billiards It s a precarious way of life but if you have strong nerves it can be done.8 Which leads us to the issue of Becky and her husband Rawdon Becky is the best, most interesting character by far Lots of commentators describe her as in some way morally questionable, even bad At first this seems quite unjust She has no family, she s as poor as a mouse, so she schemes and ducks and dives to land a husband with money This goes awry she gets the husband but he doesn t get the expected inheritance so she dodges and weaves and figures out how to live well on nothing a year see above In the time honoured way of plots in novels, all her maneuvering and manipulating and cajoling and flattering and flashing of bosoms is just about to pay off handsomely when it all goes tits up Not her fault She s a woman trying to get by in a world where money and position is everything Then she disappears from the novel for a hundred pages or so When we meet her again she s a fully fledged demimondaine and now you can say her moral bankruptcy has blossomed Thackeray makes a song and dance about not being able to set down exactly what she s been up to because this is a family show, so he drops hint after hint, ending in the possibility of murder All the ambiguity is I suppose understandable but after it all she s still the only character with a zest for life in the whole mutton shop.9 Meanwhile her husband Rawdon is a military gentleman until he resigns from the Army and then does nothing Continues with his cardsharping and pool sharking but as for gainful employment, raises not one hand And Thackeray who likes to describe most other aspects of these people s lives ignores this as not worth commenting on Rawdon writes a pitiful letter from debtor s prison at one point I wasn t brought up like a younger brother, but was always encouraged to be extravagant and kep idle And that s all the explanation you get 10 The subtitle of Vanity Fair is A Novel without a Hero meaning that we are not following one particular character and we do not see the story through any one person s eyes Nor yet, really, is it that much of a story A couple of women make rash marriages After which there are some ups and downs There was a song in the 1920s called After You Get What You Want you Don t Want It and Thackeray believes people are exactly like that so happy endings and neat bows are not his thing He leaves us with the image of Vanity Fair itself, that whirligig of human foolishness, rocketing on like a perpetual switchback ride Best thing to do is not get on in the first place, the ride is not worth the admission fee, but if you re on, then don t fall off, because the drop will be considerable hard on your feelings


  5. Luffy Luffy says:

    The author makes his presence known towards the end of the book It was both eerie and uncanny He kept breaking the fourth wall, then he conjured that apparition of his in one of the last chapters.Vanity Fair contains no real heroes That was a fact that Thackeray himself stated, and who am I to dispute that This book of his is quite droll in its stitching together There is a threat of a continuum, then everything is put back into question.Classics are a strange beast With them, I feel attac The author makes his presence known towards the end of the book It was both eerie and uncanny He kept breaking the fourth wall, then he conjured that apparition of his in one of the last chapters.Vanity Fair contains no real heroes That was a fact that Thackeray himself stated, and who am I to dispute that This book of his is quite droll in its stitching together There is a threat of a continuum, then everything is put back into question.Classics are a strange beast With them, I feel attachment like it s the result of Stockholm Syndrome My delight at finishing these Mesozoic beasts is unique to the genre Long may it continue


  6. Emily Emily says:

    I realize that I m not making friends here by only giving what is considered a masterful piece of literature what amounts to a meh review but that s really how I felt about this book On a small scale, I thought the writing was too long winded This is not a fancy story and it could have been toldconcisely I was mostly bored reading it.On a bigger scale, I had serious issues with the heroine Rebecca is the type of woman who has always made my stomach churn in anger and to ask me to sym I realize that I m not making friends here by only giving what is considered a masterful piece of literature what amounts to a meh review but that s really how I felt about this book On a small scale, I thought the writing was too long winded This is not a fancy story and it could have been toldconcisely I was mostly bored reading it.On a bigger scale, I had serious issues with the heroine Rebecca is the type of woman who has always made my stomach churn in anger and to ask me to sympathize, even for a brief moment was just too much for me I ended up despising every single character in the book Which, if you want to get all literatti about it might be a good thing having a visceral reaction to the written word is often seen as a power few can manage but it didn t make me like the author, the characters or the plot any better


  7. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    I finish the book and wonder how to best convert the muddy puddle of my impressions into some kind of a coherent rich picture of a review.Well what is is, imagine an exhibition of of George Cruikshank s drawings or of those of Gilray perhaps, there is wit and fun, but after a while , maybe they are a little wearisome In this it reminds me of when I was a student and sometimes, not knowing any better I d read The Economist, eventually I noticed whatever country or problem was discussed the analy I finish the book and wonder how to best convert the muddy puddle of my impressions into some kind of a coherent rich picture of a review.Well what is is, imagine an exhibition of of George Cruikshank s drawings or of those of Gilray perhaps, there is wit and fun, but after a while , maybe they are a little wearisome In this it reminds me of when I was a student and sometimes, not knowing any better I d read The Economist, eventually I noticed whatever country or problem was discussed the analysis was the same slash public spending, liberalise markets and open them to foreign trade as you open a person s chest for open heart surgery, and be smug Then I moved on to Private Eye for a while here the message was aside from the staff and readers of that journal that everybody is stupid and stupidly commits stupid acts, everything always has been stupid, everything always will be This I felt was worse, because it was also depressing About that time I suppose I also read Vanity Fair for the first time view spoiler unless I didn t, its hard to tie these things down sometimes, it was before I had a computer let alone be introduced to Goodreads hide spoiler Again it is a classic, perhaps, at least in English, the classic moral sandwich book a wafer of morality on either side of an oozing filling of vice and stupidity and greed view spoiler indeed a vanity fair, maybe even vanity fayre hide spoiler.Then again one might say it is an English War and Peace a family saga structured around the Napoleonic wars, with characters questing for self actualisation, except as satire rather than the seeking to satisfy the reader emotionally.It is maybe an ancestor of Bonfire of the Vanities a slice of life in which everybody is reprehensible or ridiculous to varying degrees.There is problem in terms of the book as a moral sandwich, in that the title would suggest that we are in the moral universe of Pilgrim s Progress hurrying through the vanity fair, shunning its sinners seeing only the self inflicted misery, however the author does not seem to wearing John Bunyan s shoes, his attitude to vanity fair is a relaxed amusement and from the first he suggests to the readers of the novel attitudes to the characters and their doings that don t really fit into the world ofPilgrims Progress instead he suggests that the reader can be sympathetic or amused Of course by moving the story into the recent past, he is not suggesting that such dreadful goings on that place in Victorian society oh no, it is the people of the reign of George IV who were so foolish and louche The problem with laughing at the characters is that author has chosen the barrel and selected his fish, watching him shooting them for eight hundred pages, well I return to my original pointVanity Fair like so much nineteenth century novels was written for publication in instalments in a magazine, Thackeray earned himself a handsome 60 an issue for about eighty printed pages this was very good for him, the reader however can easily imagine sitting down with a sharp knife and a pot of glue and revealing the slim novel that may be struggling instead it to get out It can be very droll and amusing as I hope the excerpts quoted below give some idea, it can also go on a bit, and if certain sections were not there would I have missed them The other problem about the weakness of the moral wafer is that we are left cheek by jowl with Thackeray I read somewhere view spoiler but have forgotten where and so am unsure if this is true or just speculation hide spoiler that Thackeray dropped early on the ever smiling Sambo the black servant and the amusingly named Miss Swartz daughter of a German Jewish father and a black Caribbean mother on account of reader criticism, I don t know if he was Racist as such, or it wasa case that all non English people were inherently ridiculous in his opinion, indeed when Dobbin s regiment is posted to India his chief danger is that he may end up getting married to an Irish girl steady the Buffs , though at least she isn tRoman Catholic for the benefit of the ladies and gentlemen at the back, smelling salts will be passed round , having said that if you are going to read it, don t read this edition, get this one or another with Thackeray s original illustrations Glorvina looking at Dobbin across the dance floor is particularly fine The flip side of this is if you ve ever wondered where this British empire thing is in the British novel, it is mostly hiding out in vanity fair the intrinsic humour of mixed race children, exotic servants, fancy shawls and foods view spoiler i Oh I must try some, if it is an Indian dish, said Miss Rebecca I am sure everything must be good that comes from there Give Miss Sharp some curry, my dear, said Mr Sedly, laughingRebecca had never tasted the dish before Do you find it as good as everything else from India said Mr Sedley Oh, excellent said Rebecca, who was suffering tortures with the cayenne pepper Try a chilli with it, Miss Sharp, said Joseph, really interested A chilli, said Rebeeca, gasping O yes She thought a chilli was something cool, as its name imported, and was served some How fresh and green they look she said, and put one in her mouth It was hotter than the curry flesh and blood could bear it no longer She laid down her fork Water, for Heaven s sake, water she cried Mr Sedley burst out laughing he was a coarse man, from the Stock Exchange, where they love all sorts of practical jokes p.61 , I quote at length because this is a good taste view spoiler ha, ha sorry hide spoiler of Thackeray s humour Miss Sharp trying here to ingratiate herself view spoiler ie snare herself a husband hide spoiler with Sedly Junior just back from a spell in India with the east India company, here for once Miss Sharp out done by an even sharper meal I think it is pretty funny, but if you don t then I warn you fair and square this is about as good as it gets view spoiler but my sense of humour is fair cruel, I am still amused at the memory of my father complaining about my greatgrandfather urging him to pick up a rabbit which then scratched him, admittedly this particularly funny because my father was still indignant twenty years after the event, mind you I m still amused and they re all dead now, especially the rabbit hide spoiler hide spoiler The joy of the novel I fear lies most in the side characters and the sketches of the hunting, shooting and boozing parish priest and his boxing gin drinking son I guess also bound for the clergy view spoiler sobriety after all is generally preferred in most other professions hide spoiler town before the Great Reform Act 1832 which sent two people to parliament but which might have one or up to a handful of voters, perhaps all controlled by one family to rent out a seat in a Parliament, which brings in a few pennies A problem is that Thackeray s principal characters can never develop there always has to be some angle or several angles at which they are ridiculous and mocked by the author Interestingly from my point of view Thackeray s conception seems Wordsworthian the child is the father of the man admittedly in part because the child remains a child I think I recall one of his drawings of his characters as children but flopping about in adult clothes to underline that idea but then getting back to the moral sandwich idea you might ask where the adult is in the book but there isn t one, this is a book resolutely without a hero But digressing back to my digression I digress to Thackeray criticising Goethe s Elective affinities, which for Thackeray is morally dangerous, however we may feel psychologically muchsophisticated.Rereading I felt a littlesorry than I remembered from previously for Becky Sharp as she comes across as the most intelligent but in the way of tv cartoon villains she knows her end desire, and she knows what she can do do, but she can t see that there is no road between the two All the characters are so completely conditioned by their childhoods that there is no possibility of growth they are doomed to be slaves of satire forever, Dobbin so whipped and beaten as his name invites in childhood, that as an adult he has to visit the same on himself view spoiler For native speakers of British English it is impossible to see anybody called Dobbin as a hero, but perhaps one needs to be over a certain age now to know that view spoiler particularly since it is a long while since Brian Cant was on the TV hide spoiler hide spoiler Obviously Becky Sharp is your girl if you love the idea of always having the last word witty come back,cutting than the world hairdressing championships, plainly in the contemporary world she d be the leading edge CFO keeping a financial empire just about afloat by lending money to herself, currencies moving through jurisdictions like planes landing and taking off at an international hub airport We get to enjoy her wheelings and dealings and then her comeuppance, yet I feel post vindication of the rights of woman and Jane Eyre that her fatal fault is that she is too French view spoiler because your French woman of course, unlike an English woman is never a mother, sure, sure she make give birth and all, that but they are hopelessly compelled to be floozies at them there soir es what they has in France, while your English woman, she ll have none of that, devote herself to her babies she will because she s a mother, and if she don t, you scratch her she ll be no Englishwoman but foreign o some sort French most probably like this here Becky Sharp with her French mum hide spoiler , it s all in the blood of course so it can t be helped but there you go Biology is destiny Ancestry is destiny But it is all for laughs, the problem with satire is I feel sometimes the line between humour and a horrible world view, as with the treatment of non English characters above, can be pretty fine view spoiler but then I am humourless view spoiler except when it comes to people eating chillies imagining they will be delightfully cooling view spoiler as to be fair, their name implies hide spoiler , or being indignant over having been scratched by rabbits twenty years previously hide spoiler hide spoilerEverybody is striving for what is not worth the havingp.563 On the rereading I found less funny than I remember, though I suppose it is just possible that the book has stayed the same while I have grown less tolerant, it doesn t seem to me to be the kind of book that requires multiple readings or which grows and grows in the rereading, I did this time notice the tightness of the London geography still, amusing, but if you are going to give it a go get yourself an edition with the original illustrations


  8. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Vanity Fair A Novel without a Hero, William Makepeace ThackerayVanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, which follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars A novel that chronicles the lives of two women who could not bedifferent 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 Vanity Fair A Novel without a Hero, William Makepeace ThackerayVanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, which follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars A novel that chronicles the lives of two women who could not bedifferent 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 1990 1368 868 9644481046 1396 19 1386 320 9789648935455 1394 172 9786009485321 1341 148 1351 146 1847 1848 1811 1830 265 261


  9. Apatt Apatt says:

    Vanity Fair is a big surprise for me I was expecting a story about the trial and tribulations of a couple of plucky lady friends what I discovered was a witty, satirical novel that made me laugh several times, engaged my attention always and even moving at times.On the surface Vanity Fair is a story of the two main characters Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley, two childhood friends from the opposite ends of the moral and intellectual spectrum Becky is ambitious, conniving and smart, Amelia is humb Vanity Fair is a big surprise for me I was expecting a story about the trial and tribulations of a couple of plucky lady friends what I discovered was a witty, satirical novel that made me laugh several times, engaged my attention always and even moving at times.On the surface Vanity Fair is a story of the two main characters Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley, two childhood friends from the opposite ends of the moral and intellectual spectrum Becky is ambitious, conniving and smart, Amelia is humble, kind, simple, and rather dim The novel concurrently charts Becky s rise from her humble station in life to the rank of the fashionable high society, while Amelia meets with several misfortunes and becomes penniless It is quite a lengthy novel ofthan 800 pages with a large cast of characters who revolve around the lives of the two protagonists.The most interesting feature of Vanity Fair is how meta it is Thackeray often breaks the fourth wall to address the reader directly with sly and humorous asides, making light of the novelist s omnipotence Thackeray s satirical self portraitThe characters are very well drawn inways than one , particularly Becky who is basically a femme fatale but still manages to show the odd flashes of conscience Amelia is too virtuous for her own good yet unintentionally takes advantage of a man who has an unrequited love for her Nice but dim AmeliaIt is an interesting trope of a lot of fiction that the nicest, kindest man is immediately friend zoned by the love of his life This is very much the case for William Dobbin the man who longs for his dead best friend s girl Amilia like a Norwegian Blue parrot pining for the fjord My only minor criticism of the book is that some of the characters are just a little too stupid to be realistic Amelia is well aware of Dobbin s love for her but feels unable to return his love because she feels that she would be betraying the memory of her dead husband Although Amelia is na ve, dimwitted and does not care for him Dobbin an intelligent fellow cannot get over his obsession with her Amelia s brother Jos is even worse, he has seen with his own eyes that Becky is dishonest, mercenary and cannot be trusted but he still falls for her entrapment His stupidity is surprising because he is described as talented and singlehandedly recues his father and his sister from extreme poverty.Thackeray s writing is wonderful, excessive usage of the word prodigious notwithstanding I don t think I have read anything this witty since The Picture of Dorian Gray Like all long novels it is something to sink into and live with rather than just passively reading.The book makes me reflect that being virtuous is not enough to be of much use to the world if the virtue is not supported by intelligence and wisdom On the other hand being clever like Becky and achieving wealth and fame is a hollow accomplishment if you are left with no genuine friends and family and viewed with disdain everywhere you go Becky being SharpOne of my favorite Victorian novels, if you like reading the classics Vanity Fair is a must._________________________NotesFor a change the free audiobook does not come from Librivox.org, they have their own edition but it is read by multiple readers several of them are very bad The edition I listened to is from Lit2Go, beautifully read by Amanda Elan My favorite quotes are not included on GR s quotes page for this book so I ll drop them here LOLThough he was familiar with all languages, Mr Kirsch was not acquainted with a single one, and spoke all with indifferent volubility and incorrectness MetaIf, a few pages back, the present writer claimed the privilege of peeping into Miss Amelia Sedley s bedroom, and understanding with the omniscience of the novelist all the gentle pains and passions which were tossing upon that innocent pillow, why should he not declare himself to be Rebecca s confidante too, master of her secrets, and seal keeper of that young woman s conscienceHi Cecily


  10. Grace Tjan Grace Tjan says:

    Spoilers Miss Rebecca Sharp s Guide to the Regency Society1 If a young lady is not born into either rank or fortune, she will be looked down upon by good society and forced to exist in a humiliating dependency on others for life, unless the said young lady is willing, nay, not merely willing, but most strenuously strive to improve her situation 2 If the said young lady, despite being a poor orphan, happens to have the good fortune of being admitted into an exclusive academy for young ladies a Spoilers Miss Rebecca Sharp s Guide to the Regency Society1 If a young lady is not born into either rank or fortune, she will be looked down upon by good society and forced to exist in a humiliating dependency on others for life, unless the said young lady is willing, nay, not merely willing, but most strenuously strive to improve her situation 2 If the said young lady, despite being a poor orphan, happens to have the good fortune of being admitted into an exclusive academy for young ladies as an articled pupil, she has to ensure that she makes the utmost effort to learn everything that she could in that fine establishment The modern languages, Greek, Latin and the rudiments of Hebrew, as well as music and dancing are important subjects that need to be mastered by an accomplished young lady, but most important of all is the ability to speak good French with the purest Parisian accent, for it enables the speaker to pass herself off as a daughter of the French aristocracy, even though in reality her mother is a mere stage actress.3 A woman with fair opportunities, and without an absolute hump, may marry whom she likes A wealthy husband should be prospected immediately after the young lady completes her education The brother of a school friend is most suitable, even if the said young man is a fat dandy and not very sensible, as long as he is of ample inheritance Beware of the gluttonous young buck though, for an overindulgence in a bowl of punch might thwart a young lady s designs on him 4 Schoolmistresses letters are to be trusted nonor less than churchyard epitaphs There are notable exceptions, it must be admitted, but they are exceedingly rare Nevertheless, the young lady, should she fail in her initial effort to land a wealthy husband, should endeavour to gain a letter of introduction that would recommend her as a governess to the most respectable of households Such households, though populated by dissolute aristocrats, might house a number of potential spouses A younger son of a baronet, even though he is a scoundrel, gambler, swindler and murderer, is a most suitable prospect, provided that he is to inherit an elderly relative s fortune 5 Let them show ever so little inclination, and men go down on their knees at once old or ugly, it is all the same A little sweet talk and a wink, and they all fall on your feet bearing trinkets of pearls and gold It doesn t matter a whit if he happens to be your best friend s husband, nor if you yourself is somebody s else s wife It is best, however, if the gentleman admirer is a wealthy, powerful nobleman, for the advantages that a clever lady could get from him, financially or otherwise, is great indeed Why, not only is he able to provide the lady s household with a thousand pound cheque at a whim, he is also able to bestow a profitable colonial governorship on the lady s husband Beware of the jealous husband, though, who through an imaginary affront to his honor might destroy all of the lady s clever schemes 6 How To Live Well On Nothing A Year Appearances must be kept a residence in Mayfair, a smart carriage, the best game and wines for one s entertainments, and the latest Parisian fashions How to afford all these when one has no regular income Not to despair, the ingenious lady always has means to do so Prevail upon the generosity of friends and relatives Impose upon your landlord and your greengrocers, washerwomen and other domestics Unlike banks or Hebrew money lenders, these little people are very unlikely to set loose a bailiff upon your respectable self, especially if they are in awe of your noble family.7 If all these schemes fail, and both your husband and gentleman admirer abandon you in a cloud of scandal, despair not A lady of some talent can always flee abroad and sing for her supper, if necessary Better still, if you could rekindle a relationship with a former beau, now older and ailing, who though his own fortune is much encumbered, would take a life insurance naming your pitiful self as a beneficiary The small fortune that ensues from such a settlement is surely enough to tide you over until your estranged son succeeds into his baronetcy and is finally able to provide you with a generous allowance Then you can spend your declining years as an admirably pious and charitable society lady Thus a penniless orphan girl need not condemn herself to a life of servitude and penury, but instead rise into the pinnacle of society through her industry and ingeniousness


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