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  1. Thackeray's Vanity Fair appeared in serial form between 1847 and 1848. It came out in yellow wrappers every month, the book version appearing in 1848. It is by far Thackeray's finest and most popular work, although Henry Esmond has been an A-level text and Barry Lyndon was made into a successful film. But Vanity Fair has stood the test of time, being continually shown on both small and large screens. This is undoubtedly due to the nature of his picara heroine Becky Sharp, a girl who rises from being an artist's daughter to a companion for peers and princes. Becky is unlike other Victorian heroines in being a 'bad' girl who makes good, although WMT, The Manager of the Fair, teases the reader by censuring her from time to time, only later to delight in her sheer effrontery. For those who love Victorian fiction Vanity Faiir is a must-read. It takes time to get through, but is strangely enough, despite WMT's intrusions, never dull. How Thackeray got away with presenting his middle-class readership with a heroine who is nothing less than a high-class whore is a miracle.
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