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Vanity Fair follows the fortunes of two contrasting but inter-linked lives: through the retiring Amelia Sedley and the brilliant Becky Sharp, Thackeray examines the position of women in an intensely exploitative male world.
Thackeray’s upper-class Regency world is a noisy and jostling commercial fairground, predominantly driven by acquisitive greed and soulless materialism, in which the narrator himself plays a brilliantly versatile role as a serio-comic observer. 
When Vanity Fair was published in 1848, Charlotte Brontë commented: ‘The more I read Thackeray’sworks the more certain I am that he stands alone – alone in his sagacity, alone in his truth, alone in his feeling… Thackeray is a Titan.’
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