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Before the Real Housewives, there were Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley. Ruthless and cunning, Becky may have been born in a lower class, but now that she’s graduated from school, she’s ready to climb up to a better life—and do whatever it takes to get there. Her friend Emmy, however, is the opposite. She may have mastered music, dancing, and embroidery like any young woman of her class, but she utterly lacks a backbone.
Together these friends navigate the perils of Regency society as they search for love and happiness. Social battles are waged against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and when the smoke finally clears, there’s no telling who will come out victorious.
A satirical masterpiece, Vanity Fair was #14 on The Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Novels and #122 in the BBC’s “Big Read” poll for the UK’s best-loved novel. It has inspired numerous adaptations, from early silent films to a 2004 movie by Mira Nair starring Reese Witherspoon as Becky.
Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray that satirizes society in early 19th-century England. Like many novels of the time, Vanity Fair was published as a serial before being sold in book form; it was printed in 20 monthly parts between January 1847 and July 1848.
Thackeray meant the book to be not only entertaining but also instructive; this is shown both by the narrator of the book and in Thackeray's private correspondence. The novel is now remembered as a classic of English literature, though some critics claim that it has structural problems; Thackeray sometimes lost track of the huge scope of his work, mixing up characters' names and minor plot details. The number of allusions and references it contains can make it difficult for modern readers to follow.
It's interesting to note that Vanity Fair was one of the first examples of what's called the "multi-plot" novel, which became hugely popular between the late 1840s and the mid 1870s. This is a type of novel in which two or more entirely separate groups of characters have their stories told, with the author eventually bringing everything together to form a conclusion in which everyone "participates".
Los mejores libros jamás escritos.
«¡Ah! Vanitas vanitatum! ¿Quién de nosotros es feliz en este mundo?»
En el recinto de la Feria se erige suntuoso uno de los mejores retratos de la sociedad inglesa de principios del siglo XIX, cuyo director de escena de mirada desencantada no es otro que William M. Thackeray, maestro en el arte de crear personajes femeninos. Así, pronto veremos pisar el escenario a dos mujeres inolvidables: la dulce y apocada Amelia Sedley y la inteligente y ambiciosa Becky Sharp cobran vida en un juego fascinante, lleno de trampas y de emoción, en una obra magistral de la literatura de todos los tiempos: La feria de las vanidades.
La clásica traducción que en su día realizara Alfonso Nadal viene precedida en la presente edición por un esclarecedor estudio introductorio. Lo firma John Carey, catedrático emérito de literatura inglesa en la Universidad deOxford y crítico literario de renombre indiscutible.