Vanity Fair - Netflix

Set in the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair is a rich and resplendent satire of English society in which there is a great quantity of eating and drinking, making love and jilting, laughing and the contrary, smoking, cheating, fighting, dancing and fiddling.

Becky Sharp, the penniless, orphaned daughter of an artist and a French opera dancer, and Amelia Sedley, the sheltered child of a rich City Merchant are unlikely, but firm friends. From the drawing rooms of Regency London to the fields of Waterloo, Vanity Fair tells their story.

Becky, an irrepressible schemer one of the most seductive social climbers of all time who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. While her friend, the meek and mild Amelia, pursues the opposite course. In the end both girls get what they want but not quite in the way they planned.

Vanity Fair - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 1987-09-06

Vanity Fair - Vanity Fair (novel) - Netflix

Vanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray which follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published as a 19-volume monthly serial from 1847 to 1848, carrying the subtitle Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society, reflecting both its satirisation of early 19th-century British society and the many illustrations drawn by Thackeray to accompany the text. It was published as a single volume in 1848 with the subtitle A Novel without a Hero, reflecting Thackeray's interest in deconstructing his era's conventions regarding literary heroism. It is sometimes considered the “principal founder” of the Victorian domestic novel. The story is framed as a puppet play and the narrator, despite being an authorial voice, is notoriously unreliable. Late in the narrative, it is revealed that the entire account has been 2nd- or 3rd-hand gossip the writer picked up “years ago” from Lord Tapeworm, British chargé d'affaires in one of the minor German states and relative of several of the other aristocrats in the story but none of the main characters: “the famous little Becky puppet”, “the Amelia Doll”, “the Dobbin Figure”, “the Little Boys”, and “the Wicked Nobleman, on which no expense has been spared”. Despite her many stated faults and still worse ones admitted to have been passed over in silence, Becky emerges as the “hero”—what is now called an antihero—in place of Amelia because Thackeray is able to illustrate that “the highest virtue a fictional character can possess is interest.” The serial was a popular and critical success; the novel is now considered a classic and has inspired several film adaptations. In 2003, Vanity Fair was listed at No. 122 on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's best-loved books.

Vanity Fair - Rawdon Crawley - Netflix

Rawdon, the younger of the two Crawley sons, is an empty-headed cavalry officer who is his wealthy aunt's favourite until he marries Becky Sharp, who is of a far lower class. He permanently alienates his aunt, who leaves her estate to Rawdon's elder brother Sir Pitt instead. Sir Pitt has by this time inherited their father's estate, leaving Rawdon destitute. The well-meaning Rawdon does have a few talents in life, most of them having to do with gambling and duelling. He is very good at cards and billiards, and although he does not always win he is able to earn cash by betting against less talented gamblers. He is heavily indebted throughout most of the book, not so much for his own expenses as for Becky's. Not particularly talented as a military officer, he is content to let Becky manage his career. Although Rawdon knows Becky is attractive to men, he believes her reputation is spotless even though she is widely suspected of romantic intrigue with General Tufto and other powerful men. Nobody dares to suggest otherwise to Rawdon because of his temper and his reputation for duelling. Yet other people, particularly the Marquis of Steyne, find it impossible to believe that Crawley is unaware of Becky's tricks. Steyne in particular believes Rawdon is fully aware Becky is prostituting herself, and believes Rawdon is going along with the charade in the hope of financial gain. After Rawdon finds out the truth and leaves Becky for an assignment overseas, he leaves his son to be brought up by his brother Sir Pitt and his wife Lady Jane. While overseas, Rawdon dies of yellow fever.

Vanity Fair - References - Netflix