Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery has been on my to-read list for seven or so years. The novel was assigned as required reading in high school for the honors English class (it’s on the list of 101 Great Books for College-Bound Readers, after all), but I was too busy watching classic films in gifted and talented English to bother reading it before I went off to college. Thackery’s novel is now on my Classics Club list — all 731 pages of it!
When I floated around the idea of hosting a readalong at the end of last year, Thackery’s novel was the one most people said they would be up for reading with company. So, here I am offering up a readalong to help us all cross this chunkster of a book off our to-read lists.
Honestly, I don’t know much about the book. The novel was originally published in a series of installments in 1847–48 and satirized society in early nineteenth century Britain. According to GoodReads, the novel features Becky Sharp, who is “scorned for her lack of money and breeding. Becky must use all her wit, charm and considerable sex appeal to escape her drab destiny as a governess. From London’s ballrooms to the battlefields of Waterloo, the bewitching Becky works her wiles on a gallery of memorable characters, including her lecherous employer, Sir Pitt, his rich sister, Miss Crawley, and Pitt’s dashing son, Rawdon, the first of Becky’s misguided sexual entanglements”.
The novel is, according to the subtitle, without a hero but sounds reminiscent of Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. Two novels I dreaded only to end up loving. We’ll see if the same holds true for Thackery’s book and whether or not my comparison is fair.
Since the novel is so long, I’ve divided the novel into three sections roughly twenty-two chapters long and spread the check-ins over two months. Obviously, you don’t have to read at the same pace — maybe you’ll fall in love with the novel and race to the end. This is just when I’ll be posting my thoughts (and maybe some questions) with places for you to link up to your own thoughts.
- Chapter 1 – end of Chapter 22 (Wednesday, March 25)
- Chapter 23 – end of Chapter 44 (Wednesday, April 15)
- Chapter 45 – end of Chapter 67 (Wednesday, April 29)
Feel free to use the button at right. (You can grab a direct link to the icon here.) I’ll also so be using #vfalong on twitter
when I remember that I have one.
So, you’re in, right? Link up below: (If you don’t have a url, use this blog’s to sign up.)