Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

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If you've enjoyed watching the 1998 BBC television miniseries, you'd probably want to renew your acquaintance with William Makepeace Thackeray's 1847 novel, Vanity Fair. However, if you're unfamiliar with what has been dubbed one of the Best 100 Books in English Literature, you certainly have a treat ahead. Miss Pinkerton's Academy in Chiswick Mall in London is where young ladies with ambitions of making a good marriage are sent by their socially aspiring middleclass parents. Two young ladies, Amelia Sedley and Rebecca (Becky) Sharpe are on their way home after completing their term at Miss Pinkerton's. Amelia is from a well to do family, while Becky is a scheming orphan who has latched on to her amiable friend in the hopes of climbing the social ladder. In Amelia's comfortable Russell Square home, Becky goes to work immediately. Her target is Amelia's clumsy, boastful, wealthy civil servant brother, Joseph, who is home on furlough from India. She also meets the dashing Captain George Osborne, Amelia's childhood sweetheart. Things don't go according to plan and Becky soon moves to a country mansion, Queen's Crawley, where she takes up a job as a governess to the children of the wealthy widower Sir Pitt Crawley. She manages to entrap the naïve younger son of the house, Rawdon Crawley. Meanwhile, Amelia and George marry. However, George is not all he seems and turns out to be a coward in war and an unscrupulous liar. He is also weary of his marriage and begins to pay undue attentions to Becky, whom he meets in Brighton where she is staying with her husband. The rest of the story follows the lives of the two classmates and their travails. The title of Vanity Fair is taken from John Bunyan's famous 17th century work, Pilgrim's Progress. In Bunyan's allegorical tale of Christian's journey, Vanity Fair is the name of an endless carnival in the town of Vanity, and represents worldly vices and sinful attachments. Thackeray was writing in the Golden Age of Satire when greats like Dryden, Pope, Swift, Addison, Steele and Fielding were regaling readers with their caustic, acerbic wit. Vanity Fair explores the ideas of transient, materialistic desires and their harmful effects on people. His biting satirical portrait of the selfish and street smart Becky and her overwhelming desire for wealth and social success is one of the masterpieces in English literature. Thackeray's brilliant gifts for slicing through the pretensions and facades that human beings hide behind remain one of the reasons why Vanity Fair is even today considered a must read classic.
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If you've enjoyed watching the 1998 BBC television miniseries, you'd probably want to renew your acquaintance with William Makepeace Thackeray's 1847 novel, Vanity Fair. However, if you're unfamiliar with what has been dubbed one of the Best 100 Books in English Literature, you certainly have a treat ahead. Miss Pinkerton's Academy in Chiswick Mall in London is where young ladies with ambitions of making a good marriage are sent by their socially aspiring middleclass parents. Two young ladies, Amelia Sedley and Rebecca (Becky) Sharpe are on their way home after completing their term at Miss Pinkerton's. Amelia is from a well to do family, while Becky is a scheming orphan who has latched on to her amiable friend in the hopes of climbing the social ladder. In Amelia's comfortable Russell Square home, Becky goes to work immediately. Her target is Amelia's clumsy, boastful, wealthy civil servant brother, Joseph, who is home on furlough from India. She also meets the dashing Captain George Osborne, Amelia's childhood sweetheart. Things don't go according to plan and Becky soon moves to a country mansion, Queen's Crawley, where she takes up a job as a governess to the children of the wealthy widower Sir Pitt Crawley. She manages to entrap the naïve younger son of the house, Rawdon Crawley. Meanwhile, Amelia and George marry. However, George is not all he seems and turns out to be a coward in war and an unscrupulous liar. He is also weary of his marriage and begins to pay undue attentions to Becky, whom he meets in Brighton where she is staying with her husband. The rest of the story follows the lives of the two classmates and their travails. The title of Vanity Fair is taken from John Bunyan's famous 17th century work, Pilgrim's Progress. In Bunyan's allegorical tale of Christian's journey, Vanity Fair is the name of an endless carnival in the town of Vanity, and represents worldly vices and sinful attachments. Thackeray was writing in the Golden Age of Satire when greats like Dryden, Pope, Swift, Addison, Steele and Fielding were regaling readers with their caustic, acerbic wit. Vanity Fair explores the ideas of transient, materialistic desires and their harmful effects on people. His biting satirical portrait of the selfish and street smart Becky and her overwhelming desire for wealth and social success is one of the masterpieces in English literature. Thackeray's brilliant gifts for slicing through the pretensions and facades that human beings hide behind remain one of the reasons why Vanity Fair is even today considered a must read classic.
...Read More
Episodes (461)
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01 – Chiswick Mall

02 Jan 2021 | 17 mins 37 secs

01 – Chiswick Mall

02 Jan 2021 | 17 mins 37 secs

02 – In Which Miss Sharp ...

01 Jan 2021 | 22 mins 53 secs

02 – In Which Miss S...

01 Jan 2021 | 22 mins 53 secs

03 – Rebecca is in Presen...

31 Dec 2020 | 18 mins

03 – Rebecca is in P...

31 Dec 2020 | 18 mins

04 – The Green Silk Purse

30 Dec 2020 | 32 mins 03 secs

04 – The Green Silk ...

30 Dec 2020 | 32 mins 03 secs

05 – Dobbin of Ours

29 Dec 2020 | 26 mins 56 secs

05 – Dobbin of Ours

29 Dec 2020 | 26 mins 56 secs

06 – Vauxhall

28 Dec 2020 | 30 mins 46 secs

06 – Vauxhall

28 Dec 2020 | 30 mins 46 secs

07 – Crawley of Queen’s C...

27 Dec 2020 | 19 mins 19 secs

07 – Crawley of Quee...

27 Dec 2020 | 19 mins 19 secs

08 – Private and Confiden...

26 Dec 2020 | 30 mins 09 secs

08 – Private and Con...

26 Dec 2020 | 30 mins 09 secs

09 – Family Portraits

25 Dec 2020 | 22 mins 38 secs

09 – Family Portrait...

25 Dec 2020 | 22 mins 38 secs

10 – Miss Sharp Begins To...

24 Dec 2020 | 18 mins 57 secs

10 – Miss Sharp Begi...

24 Dec 2020 | 18 mins 57 secs

11 – Arcadian Simplicity

23 Dec 2020 | 40 mins 20 secs

11 – Arcadian Simpli...

23 Dec 2020 | 40 mins 20 secs

12 – Quite a Sentimental ...

22 Dec 2020 | 24 mins 08 secs

12 – Quite a Sentime...

22 Dec 2020 | 24 mins 08 secs

13 – Sentimental and Othe...

21 Dec 2020 | 29 mins 03 secs

13 – Sentimental and...

21 Dec 2020 | 29 mins 03 secs

14 – Miss Crawley at Home

20 Dec 2020 | 45 mins 01 sec

14 – Miss Crawley at...

20 Dec 2020 | 45 mins 01 sec

15 – In Which Rebecca’s H...

19 Dec 2020 | 21 mins 32 secs

15 – In Which Rebecc...

19 Dec 2020 | 21 mins 32 secs