Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero

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The Floating Press, Jan 1, 2009 - Fiction - 889 pages
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Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is William Thackeray's celebrated satirical novel of 19th century British society. Vanity Fair follows the rags-to-riches tale of the captivating and ruthless Becky Sharpe as she navigates her way through London society with fearsome determination and ambition.
 

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Contents

Chapter XXXV
634
Chapter XXXVI
652
Chapter XXXVII
666
Chapter XXXVIII
691
Chapter XXXIX
714
Chapter XL
730
Chapter XLI
745
Chapter XLII
765

Chapter VIII
129
Chapter IX
145
Chapter X
157
Chapter XI
167
Chapter XII
195
Chapter XIII
209
Chapter XIV
230
Chapter XV
263
Chapter XVI
279
Chapter XVII
295
Chapter XVIII
309
Chapter XIX
329
Chapter XX
347
Chapter XXI
363
Chapter XXII
379
Chapter XXIII
395
Chapter XXIV
406
Chapter XXV
428
Chapter XXVI
461
Chapter XXVII
474
Chapter XXVIII
486
Chapter XXIX
502
Chapter XXX
525
Chapter XXXI
541
Chapter XXXII
561
Chapter XXXIII
589
Chapter XXXIV
606
Chapter XLIII
777
Chapter XLIV
792
Chapter XLV
809
Chapter XLVI
824
Chapter XLVII
838
Chapter XLVIII
852
Chapter XLIX
871
Chapter L
884
Chapter LI
899
Chapter LII
929
Chapter LIII
945
Chapter LIV
961
Chapter LV
977
Chapter LVI
1004
Chapter LVII
1024
Chapter LVIII
1038
Chapter LIX
1057
Chapter LX
1075
Chapter LXI
1085
Chapter LXII
1108
Chapter LXIII
1126
Chapter LXIV
1146
Chapter LXV
1172
Chapter LXVI
1186
Chapter LXVII
1213
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About the author (2009)

William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India, where his father was in service to the East India Company. After the death of his father in 1816, he was sent to England to attend school. Upon reaching college age, Thackeray attended Trinity College, Cambridge, but he left before completing his degree. Instead, he devoted his time to traveling and journalism. Generally considered the most effective satirist and humorist of the mid-nineteenth century, Thackeray moved from humorous journalism to successful fiction with a facility that was partially the result of a genial fictional persona and a graceful, relaxed style. At his best, he held up a mirror to Victorian manners and morals, gently satirizing, with a tone of sophisticated acceptance, the inevitable failure of the individual and of society. He took up the popular fictional situation of the young person of talent who must make his way in the world and dramatized it with satiric directness in The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844), with the highest fictional skill and appreciation of complexities inherent within the satiric vision in his masterpiece, Vanity Fair (1847), and with a great subtlety of point of view and background in his one historical novel, Henry Esmond (1852). Vanity Fair, a complex interweaving in a vast historical panorama of a large number of characters, derives its title from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and attempts to invert for satirical purposes, the traditional Christian image of the City of God. Vanity Fair, the corrupt City of Man, remains Thackeray's most appreciated and widely read novel. It contrasts the lives of two boarding-school friends, Becky Sharp and Amelia Smedley. Constantly attuned to the demands of incidental journalism and his sense of professionalism in his relationship with his public, Thackeray wrote entertaining sketches and children's stories and published his humorous lectures on eighteenth-century life and literature. His own fiction shows the influence of his dedication to such eighteenth-century models as Henry Fielding, particularly in his satire, which accepts human nature rather than condemns it and takes quite seriously the applicability of the true English gentleman as a model for moral behavior. Thackeray requested that no authorized biography of him should ever be written, but members of his family did write about him, and these accounts were subsequently published.

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