William Thackeray was a 19th century British novelist. He was
famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a
panoramic portrait of English society. In the early 1840s,
Thackeray had some success with two travel books, The Paris Sketch
Book and The Irish Sketch Book. Vanity Fair is a novel without a
hero. Two young women--wellborn, humble Amelia Sedley and
social-climbing, amoral Becky Sharp--meet at boarding school. Both
seek husbands and happiness in Europe around the time of the
Napoleonic campaigns. Both marry, but Amelia's husband wants to
leave her for Becky until he is killed at the Battle of Waterloo.,
Thackeray wrote this cynical novel, intending to expose social
hypocrisy and sham.
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