William Makepeace Thackeray: Vanity Fair

(2582 words)
  • Lindsay Sullivan (University of Wales, Cardiff)

Thackeray began work on Vanity Fair in 1845, and Bradbury and Evans made an offer for it in 1846. The novel eventually began serialisation in Punch in January 1847, running until July 1848. A one-volume edition was published in 1848 and a revised edition appeared in 1853. The present title of the novel alludes both to John Bunyan (1628-88)’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678) and to the book of Ecclesiastes (see 1v2, 1v14, and 12v8). The Pilgrim’s Progress describes Vanity Fair: “Therefore at this Fair are all such merchandise sold, as houses, lands, trades, places, honours, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures, and delights of all sorts, as whores, bawds, wives, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Sullivan, Lindsay. "Vanity Fair". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 July 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8590, accessed 27 April 2015.]