Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The London Reading List No.2

Tuesday is great London books day on The Daily Constitutional. Give us your own recommendations at the usual email address

Vanity Fair by
William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

William Makepeace Thackeray’s masterpiece has been compared to Tolstoy in its ambitious scope. And ambition fires the book’s anti-heroine: the thrusting Becky Sharp. If Thackeray hasn’t written the greatest English novel of all, then he has surely created the nastiest piece of work in the canon in Miss Sharp. Her scramble up the greasy pole of wealth and celebrity makes the soap divas of the 1980’s look like so many maiden aunts at the proverbial vicarage tea party. Second best character? London herself, from Chiswick to Russell Square, the capital of the early 19th Century is portrayed in memorable detail.

(The edition pictured is the special Penguin 60th Anniversary edition of 2006 www.penguin.com)

Visit Thackeray Street on the Kensington Walk every Thursday and Saturday afternoons at 2.00p.m.

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