From the list on historical fiction with wanton & wilful women.
Who am I?
I’m a historical fiction author (one novel published by Penguin, plus several Sherlock Holmes stories with Belanger Books) – and I read it avidly too, although many of the Victorian novels I love were considered frighteningly modern in their day. I’m fascinated by the 19th century as both reader and writer because of the incredible changes (social and technological) it saw, and the resulting dramas and tensions that emerged. Literacy and literary culture exploded during Victoria’s reign, but it was also a time of astonishing contrast: poverty versus huge wealth, outward virtue versus secret vice, prejudice and injustice (especially regarding women’s rights) versus struggles for social progress… sound familiar?
Katy's book list on historical fiction with wanton & wilful women
Discover why each book is one of Katy's favorite books.
Why did Katy love this book?
Famously, Thackeray subtitled his most celebrated work “a novel without a hero” – and frankly, that’s a major reason readers love it and it’s lasted so long. His anti-heroine Becky Sharp is even more notable for her wit, keen intelligence, and moral flexibility than for her personal attractions, and despite lacking both wealth and high birth, claws her way up the Georgian social ladder with scant regard for convention or other people’s feelings. Becky’s that rarity of (male-authored) nineteenth-century fiction: a female protagonist who’s fully-realised, three-dimensional, fascinating, and flawed – about as far from Dickens’s simpering tweens and caricatured crones as it’s possible to get. Through the Napoleonic wars, scandal, and ruin, we root for Becky even as we judge her: will she survive, even thrive? Read on!
Why should I read it?
6 authors picked Vanity Fair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair depicts the anarchic anti-heroine Beky Sharpe cutting a swathe through the eligible young men of Europe, set against a lucid backdrop of war and international chaos. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by John Carey.
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia Sedley, however, longs only for the caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour…