The novel is a satire of society as a whole, characterized by hypocrisy and opportunism, but it is not a reforming novel; there is no suggestion that social or political changes, or greater piety and moral reformism could improve the nature of society. It thus paints a fairly bleak view of the human condition. This bleak portrait is continued with Thackeray's own role as an omniscient narrator, one of the writers best known for using the technique. He continually offers asides about his characters and compares them to actors and puppets, but his scorn goes even as far as his readers; accusing all who may be interested in such "Vanity Fairs" as being either "of a lazy, or a benevolent, or a sarcastic mood".
In The Virginians by William Thackeray, two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the war for American Independence.
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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.
Filled with hilarious dialogue and superb characterizations, Vanity Fair is a richly entertaining comedy that asks the reader, “Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?”
Enjoy this wonderful tale Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray today!
Stephen Fry narrates this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the famous Victorian comic novel.
Orphan Becky Sharp and wealthy Amelia Sedley are best friends at Miss Pinkerton's Academy for Young Ladies. On leaving school, ambitious, social-climbing Becky looks for a rich man to support her, while the sweet-natured Amelia meets her old friend Dobbin, who is instantly captivated.
Becky takes a job in the service of Sir Pitt Crawley, and uses her charm to hook his dashing son. However, marriage to Captain Rawdon of the Guards does not provide the fortune she seeks. Meanwhile, Amelia rejects the faithful Dobbin and becomes engaged to the handsome George Osborne – but destiny has some shocks in store for her, too.
As time goes by, the girls' fortunes rise and fall. War, financial disaster and the ruin of her reputation leave the resourceful Beckyundaunted, but Amelia finds it harder to bear fate's blows. It will be many years before their story is played out, and their futures finally decided...
William Makepeace Thackeray's classic satire of passion and ambition, first published in 1847 and 1848, is a deliciously ironic portrait of English society and its mores. This engaging 2004 radio production, published for the first time on audio, features a distinguished cast including Emma Fielding as Becky Sharp, Katy Cavanagh as Amelia and Toby Jones as Jos Sedley.
Duration: 5 hours approx