Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The #London Walks Reading List No.2: Vanity Fair

OUR NEW SERIES! Throughout March & April 2015 we'll be compiling our definitive London Reading List. 

We've asked London Walks Guides & London Walkers to recommend a favourite book or story, and we've also raided the archives here at The Daily Constitutional to bring a rich and varied selection of London-themed and London-set reading matter.

Whether you live here in London, work here, play here or if you are in the throws of planning a trip to visit us here, these are the books you need to read. As usual, you can give us a shout with your own recommendations – thrillers, literary classics, biographies, anthologies, anything! – at the usual email address, via Twitter or Facebook, or simply leave a comment below.

No.2. 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.

Visit Thackeray Street on the Kensington Walk.

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A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.

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