William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848
~800-900 pp. (Varies by publisher.)
Ah! Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the social ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour of English society in the early 1800s, battles—military and domestic—are fought, fortunes made and lost.
The one steadfast and honorable figure in this corrupt world is Dobbin, devoted to Amelia, bringing pathos and depth to William Thackeray's gloriously satirical epic of love and social adventure. (From Penguin Classics, cover image, top-right.)
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