For April and May, we are reading William Makepeace Thackeray's doorstop of a serial novel, Vanity Fair. Part 1 follows Becky Sharp and her frenemies from the beginning of the novel to their time in Brussels (after that pesky Corsican dug his way out of jail, we're assuming with an early prototype of the Spork).
We discuss Thackeray's literary influences, the influence of the Regency period on romance novels today, and the historical impact of the Napoleonic era through to World War One. We also, importantly, dig into Thackeray's racist opinions and how they unfortunately come through in this novel and his other work.
There were some technical difficulties while recording, so we thank you for your patience, and we thank co-host Manik Hinchey for her deep dive into the Napoleonic Era. Fascinating stuff!
Recommendations to come next month, but the BBC miniseries and the 2000s Reese Witherspoon adaptation are both good.