Vanity Fair is the story of Becky Sharp, a clever and ambitious young woman, and her friend Amelia Sedley who is more pliable and likable. The two women go through their lives in the climate of England during the Napoleonic Wars, enduring difficult marriages, relationships, the perils of motherhood, and the trials of womanhood during the oppressive period. The novel presents the passive Amelia as an admirable figure while the acid-tongued and manipulative Becky is derided.

Summary of Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

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Vanity Fair Chapter Summaries (Free)

1Cliffs Notes

Review: The original provider of professionally-written study guides, Cliffs Notes were available in print form before the Internet even existed. Their content is very comprehensive and includes an analysis of characters, detailed chapter by chapter summaries, critical essays, essay topics, and many other sections.

2Pink Monkey

Review: Their chapter summaries aren't as good as other providers, but PinkMonkey often has interesting insights that aren't mentioned elsewhere on the Internet. For example, they go over literary elements (like setting, conflict, and mood), compare and contrast, and symbolism/motifs. It's a good site if you want to find a unique fact or angle that other students don't know about.