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Vanity Fair - ILLUSTRATIONS in VANITY FAIR

William Makepeace Thackeray illustrated his own book. Universities have made those 150-year-old Vanity Fair pictures freely available on-line. A representative sampling will help to clarify scenes in the movie which may otherwise seem confusing.

  • Joseph (“Jos”) Sedley, Amelia’s heavyset brother, works for the East India Company. Smitten with Becky Sharp, he would marry her save for concerns about her social standing.

  • Becky’s trunk, filled with her belongings, is one of the constants on her life’s journey.

  • As a governess, “Miss Sharp” employs rather unconventional teaching habits.

  • Engaged to Lt. George Osborne, Amelia Sedley does not realize her fiancé is a cad. Unknown to Amelia, George pays scant attention to her love letters.

  • Thackeray depicts class distinctions in the clothing of his characters.

  • Becky Sharp marries Rawdon Crawley whose family lives at "Queen’s Crawley." Sir Pitt, Becky’s father-in-law, once courted her and wills his entire inheritance to his son, Pitt (depicted as standing "aloof" in Thackeray’s drawing).

  • Rawdon Crawley, like so many others in the 19th century, is temporarily locked up in a debtor’s prison. One such place - Fleet Prison - is depicted in Rudolf Ackermann’s Microcosm of London (1808).

London, at the time of 19th century novelists like Thackeray and Charles Dickens, was a great city. It was also home base for one of the most influential businesses which ever existed: The East India Company.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5123stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Oct 26, 2014


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"ILLUSTRATIONS in VANITY FAIR" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 01, 2004. Oct 17, 2017.
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