Vanity Fair

This is a major book and a huge undertaking even for the determined reader. Don’t let that dissuade you though, it’s just a warning. Most people take a look at the size of the novel and panic… But the truth is, it’s incredible. Thackeray’s “Novel Without a Hero” is pretty aptly named, and the humorous author cleverly keeps his reader oscillating between admiring and loathing his characters. Those characters sweep in and out of Thackeray’s great juggling act of a novel; it’s amazing how he could keep so many plotlines going at once! My favorite plotlines were the constantly skewing stories of Amelia and William Dobbin (Ah, Dobbin, the true hero of Vanity Fair).

All in all, I’m at a loss for words… aside from sharing some of my favorite quotes and highly recommending this novel.

“The world is a looking glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it and it will look back sourly at you, laugh at it and with it, and is a jolly kind.”

“It is in the nature and instinct of some women. Some are made to scheme and some to love…”

“How long had that poor girl been on her knees! What hours of speechless prayer and bitter prostration had she passed there! The war-chroniclers who write brilliant stories of fight and triumph scarcely tell us of these.”

“A woman may possess the wisdom and chastity of Minerva, and we give no heed to her if she has a plain face.”

“And so, if you properly tyrannize over a woman, you will find a h’p’orth of kindness act upon her and bring tears into her eyes, as though you were an angel benefiting her.”

“But have we not all been misled about our heroes and changed our opinions a hundred times?”

“He had placed himself at her feet so long that the poor little woman had been accustomed to trample upon him. She didn’t wish to marry him, but she wished to keep him. She wished to give him nothing, but that he should give her all. It is a bargain not unfrequently levied in love.”

“It was a fond mistake. Isn’t the whole course of life made up of such?”

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