Vanity Fair


Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. A deliciously satirical attack on a money-mad society, Vanity Fair, which first appeared in 1847, is an immensely moral novel, and an immensely witty one. Called in its subtitle “A Novel Without a Hero,” Vanity Fair has instead two heroines: the faithful, loyal Amelia Sedley and the beautiful and scheming social climber Becky Sharp. It also engages a huge cast of wonderful supporting characters as the novel spins from Miss Pinkerton’s academy for young ladies to affairs of love and war on the Continent to liaisons in the dazzling ballrooms of London. Thackeray’s forte is the bon mot and it is amply exercised in a novel filled with memorably wicked lines. Lengthy and leisurely in pace, the novel follows the adventures of Becky and Amelia as their fortunes rise and fall, creating a tale of both picaresque and risqué. Thackery mercilessly skewers his society, especially the upper class, poking fun at their shallow values and pointedly jabbing at their hypocritical “morals.” His weapons, however, are not fire and brimstone but an unerring eye for the absurd and a genius for observation of the foibles of his age. An enduring classic, this great novel is a brilliant study in duplicity and hypocrisy…and a mirror with which to view our own times.

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Table of Contents
Table of Contents BEFORE THE CURTAIN CHAPTER I. Chiswick Mall CHAPTER II. In Which Miss Sharp and Miss Sedley Prepare to Open the Campaign CHAPTER III. Rebecca Is in Presence of the Enemy CHAPTER IV. The Green Silk Purse CHAPTER V. Dobbin of Ours CHAPTER VI. Vauxhall CHAPTER VII. Crawley of Queen's Crawley CHAPTER VIII. Private and Confidential CHAPTER IX. Family Portraits CHAPTER X. Miss Sharp Begins to Make Friends CHAPTER XI. Arcadian Simplicity CHAPTER XII. Quite a Sentimental Chapter CHAPTER XIII. Sentimental and Otherwise CHAPTER XIV. Miss Crawley at Home CHAPTER XV. In Which Rebecca's Husband Appears for a Short Time CHAPTER XVI. The Letter on the Pincushion CHAPTER XVII. How Captain Dobbin Bought a Piano CHAPTER XVIII. Who Played on the Piano Captain Dobbin Bought CHAPTER XIX. Miss Crawley at Nurse CHAPTER XX. In Which Captain Dobbin Acts as the Messenger of Hymen CHAPTER XXI. A Quarrel About an Heiress CHAPTER XXII. A Marriage and Part of a Honeymoon CHAPTER XXIII. Captain Dobbin Proceeds on His Canvass CHAPTER XXIV. In Which Mr. Osborne Takes Down the Family Bible CHAPTER XXV. In Which All the Principal Personages Think Fit to Leave Brighton CHAPTER XXVI. Between London and Chatham CHAPTER XXVII. In Which Amelia Joins Her Regiment CHAPTER XXVIII. In Which Amelia Invades the Low Countries CHAPTER XXIX. Brussels CHAPTER XXX. "The Girl I Left Behind Me" CHAPTER XXXI. In Which Jos Sedley Takes Care of His Sister CHAPTER XXXII. In Which Jos Takes Flight, and the War Is Brought to a Close CHAPTER XXXIII. In Which Miss Crawley's Relations Are Very Anxious About Her CHAPTER XXXIV. James Crawley's Pipe Is Put Out CHAPTER XXXV. Widow and Mother CHAPTER XXXVI. How to Live Well on Nothing a Year CHAPTER XXXVII. The Subject Continued CHAPTER XXXVIII. A Family in a Very Small Way CHAPTER XXXIX. A Cynical Chapter CHAPTER XL. In Which Becky Is Recognized by the Family CHAPTER XLI. In Which Becky Revisits the Halls of Her Ancestors CHAPTER XLII. Which Treats of the Osborne Family CHAPTER XLIII. In Which the Reader Has to Double the Cape CHAPTER XLIV. A Round-about Chapter between London and Hampshire CHAPTER XLV. Between Hampshire and London CHAPTER XLVI. Struggles and Trials CHAPTER XLVII. Gaunt House CHAPTER XLVIII. In Which the Reader Is Introduced to the Very Best of Company CHAPTER XLIX. In Which We Enjoy Three Courses and a Dessert CHAPTER L. Contains a Vulgar Incident CHAPTER LI. In Which a Charade Is Acted Which May or May Not Puzzle the Reader CHAPTER LII. In Which Lord Steyne Shows Himself in a Most Amiable Light CHAPTER LIII. A Rescue and a Catastrophe CHAPTER LIV. Sunday After the Battle CHAPTER LV. In Which the Same Subject is Pursued CHAPTER LVI. Georgy is Made a Gentleman CHAPTER LVII. Eothen CHAPTER LVIII. Our Friend the Major CHAPTER LIX. The Old Piano CHAPTER LX. Returns to the Genteel World CHAPTER LXI.. In Which Two Lights are Put Out CHAPTER LXII. Am Rhein CHAPTER LXIII. In Which We Meet an Old Acquaintance CHAPTER LXIV. A Vagabond Chapter CHAPTER LXV. Full of Business and Pleasure CHAPTER LXVI. Amantium Irae CHAPTER LXVII. Which Contains Births, Marriages, and Deaths

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