HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Loading...

Vanity Fair (1847)

by William Makepeace Thackeray

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,205153337 (3.88)1 / 673
  1. 131
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: Both works are about women who would do anything to gain a life of luxury.
  2. 20
    Moll Flanders: The Fortunes and Misfortunes by Daniel Defoe (flissp, Booksloth)
  3. 00
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: It's all about what people do for entertainment, status, and sport. Along the way, the entire spectrum of society is satirized.
  4. 11
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (Antarehs)
  5. 01
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Obra soberbia de Dickens. Más "luminosa" que otras de sus obras. Historia larga, pero atrapante.
Satire (24)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (143)  Italian (4)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (153)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
I wonder if anyone who works for the magazine Vanity Fair has ever read the book. I would think that if they had, they wouldn't call it Vanity Fair because Thackeray was (very effectively in my opinion) making fun of the kind of people who live that type of life style.

(Maybe someday I'll write more of a review but wanted to get that idea down.) ( )
  wrightja2000 | Sep 6, 2018 |
This novel makes example of Becky's story as a demonstration that she can be the more interesting character versus Amelia; that is, that a reader will be most intrigued by whichever character is most active and eventful, rather than merely the most moral. If this helped widen the door to authors introducing more wicked protagonists in future, so much the better. Charlotte Bronte deeply admired this work and author, so I wonder how she didn't see this parallel with her sister Emily's "Wuthering Heights" which only seemed to trouble her.

Perhaps the humour is the difference. Vanity Fair is almost entirely filled with unlikeable characters (Captain Dobbin is the reader's life preserver in this morass, and Amelia to a lesser extent), but at least we can laugh at them, and the author acknowledges their faults by inserting some amusing commentary, ostensibly in their defence. His base argument is that such is life, and only a fool would expect nothing but Amelia to represent the real world around us. We do get a handful of more serious interludes, centred on war and death. I found Mr. Osbourne strangely sympathetic (when he wasn't encouraging his grandson to be a bully). Thackeray can be poignant when he isn't purposely undermining it.

PS - I'm mildly sorry I didn't read Tom Jones prior to this, since Thackeray apparently borrowed much from Henry Fielding's authorial style; and here I'd thought the name Vanity Fair was Thackeray's invention, but discover he rented it from "Pilgrim's Progress" and that society by Thackeray's time had already embraced it as an expression to encompass our world entire. ( )
  Cecrow | Aug 27, 2018 |
printed letterpress by oxford university press
illustrated by john austen
beautiful patterned dustjackets over cloth covering.
arches paper
791/1500. ( )
  Drfreddy94 | Jul 17, 2018 |
High Upper-Intermediate
  ChatterMatters | Jul 15, 2018 |
This book might be unique in that it not only claims to have no hero, but in fact has no hero. What it does have is a cast of duplicitous, weak or inane characters, none of whom stir much in the way of either pity, empathy, or affinity. It also has the bad girl to end all bad girls, Miss Rebecca Sharp. I doubt anyone would argue that Becky is not the most interesting character in the book, and while some might admire the good little Amelia, few could actually like her.

Vanity Fair is quite a bit longer than it needs to be and some chapters meander aimlessly, but this, I believe, can be attributed to the method in which it was released. When a book is being presented to its audience in a serial form, it must go on for a prearranged period of time and acquire a certain length. Were it being edited for release as a novel today, I feel sure it would be shortened considerably.

Thackeray breaks the fourth wall constantly, talking to the reader and urging him to see the point he has just made, in a way that can become irritating at times. But, even this conceit works for me for the most part. Toward the end of the book, the narrator explains that he has “just met” the principles, which sent my head spinning, for how could one know all the details set forth in such omniscient fashion if one just had a chance encounter with these people toward the end of their stories? Up to this point, I had accepted the narrator as an all-seeing sort of presence, not a literal acquaintance of the characters, so it was discombobulating to say the least.

Vanity Fair is a moral tale, or more correctly a tale about lack of morals. One wonders if this society actually had any or if everything that passed for morals was pretense.

At one point, Thackery compares the behavior of these persons to a mermaid and her tail:
Those who may peep down under waves that are pretty transparent and see it writhing and twirling, diabolically hideous and slimy, flapping amongst bones, or curling around corpses; but above the waterline, I ask, has not everything been proper, agreeable, and decorous, and has even the most squeamish immoralist in Vanity Fair a right to cry fie.

I believe he is trying to impress upon his reader that this is a world of pretense, a world that cares more for appearance than it ever could for virtue. Indeed, we watch Becky Sharp navigate this society in the most unscrupulous way possible, and we cannot help feeling that her flaws and shortcomings are more about survival than evil.

And, there seems to be a particular emphasis on women and their relationships to one another:

I am tempted to think that to be despised by her sex is a very great compliment to a woman.

and

As they say, the persons who hate Irishmen most are Irishmen; so, assuredly, the greatest tyrants over women are women.

It does indeed seem that it is the fairer sex, who are proposed to have the gentler hearts, the nurturing instincts and the sweeter dispositions, who wield the knife most cruelly. The men, while equally dissipated, seem somehow more gullible and unaware than hateful or manipulative.

I had a hard time deciding what rating to give this tome. I did enjoy it and found myself caught up in the story at times. There were also moments when I might have laid it aside and never picked it up again without the slightest hesitation. It is not the best of Victorian literature to me...it has none of the power of Eliot, none of the charm of Dickens, and none of the atmosphere of Hardy. In short, it cannot be ranked with the best of its time, but it cannot be dismissed either. I could not help feeling sorry for Thackeray, knowing that he suffered in comparison to Dickens in his lifetime and will continue to do so throughout literary history.

I am happy to have read Vanity Fair at last. There are surely some important ideas addressed and some things of value that can be taken away from it, but it is not the kind of book that pleads well to be read again. ( )
1 vote phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (85 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thackeray, William Makepeaceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ball, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beach, Joseph WarrenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carey, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carey, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castle, JohnReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macchi, RuthTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marquand, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melosi, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nierop, A. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pagetti, CarloContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pym, RolandIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saintsbury, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, J. I. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, J. I. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutton, GeorginaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trollope, JoannaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuomikoski, AinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weldon, FayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To

B.W. PROCTER

this story is affectionately dedicated
First words
While the present century was in its teens, and on one sun-shiny morning in June, there drove up to the great iron gate of Miss Pinkerton's academy for young ladies, on Chiswick Mall, a large family coach, with two fat horses in blazing harness, driven by a fat coachman in a three-cornered hat and wig, at the rate of four miles an hour.
Quotations
But, lo! and just as the coach drove off, Miss Sharp put her pale face out of the window and actually flung the book back into the garden.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439831, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:34 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Thus asks Thackeray in his gloriously entertaining saga, as a vibrant cast of characters scheme and scramble for life's prizes on the crowded stage of Vanity Fair. And no one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than Becky Sharp, Thackeray's supreme creation. Brilliant, alluring and ruthless, she defies her poverty-stricken background to clamber up the social ladder, while her sentimental companion Amelia longs only for caddish soldier George." "As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour of Regency society, battles - military and domestic - are fought; fortunes are made and lost. And amid the fast-paced action stands Dobbin with his unrequited love for Amelia. A true gentleman in a corrupt world, he brings pathos and depth to Thackeray's epic tale of love and social adventure."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 30 descriptions

Legacy Library: William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See William Makepeace Thackeray's legacy profile.

See William Makepeace Thackeray's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.88)
0.5 3
1 29
1.5 4
2 95
2.5 20
3 341
3.5 92
4 619
4.5 78
5 466

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439831, 0141199644, 0141199547

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,945,526 books! | Top bar: Always visible