Becky Sharp is a poor orphan when she first makes friends with the lovely Amelia Sedley at Miss Pinkerton’s Academy for Young Ladies. She may not have the natural advantages of her companion but she more than makes up for it with her wit, charm, deviousness and determination to make a success of herself whatever the cost. Vanity Fair is the story of Becky’s spectacular rise and fall as she gambles, manipulates and seduces her way through high society and the Napoleonic wars.
William Makepeace Thackeray was born on 18 July 1811 in Calcutta in India. After studying at Trinity College Cambridge he worked as a journalist and studied Art in London and Paris. In 1836 he married Isabella Shawe and they went on to have three daughters, one of whom died in infancy. He first found literary success with The Yellowplush Papers in 1837 and went on to write other works such asThe FitzBoodle Papers, Catherine, The Luck of Barry Lyndon and The Snobs of England before he published his masterpiece, Vanity Fair, in 1847. William Makepeace Thackeray died on Christmas Eve in 1863.