Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,


OK, folks, where did I leave my copy of Vanity Fair that I was reading yesterday? I have read less than a hundred pages but was really getting into it, slightly to my surprise.

One aspect that particularly struck me was Thackeray's depiction of a multiracial London, circa 1813. I can't think of any other nineteenth century novel (or earlier) which has visible non-white characters living in England, though this may just be a reflection of my ignorance. Admittedly, Thackeray's treatment of them is pretty racist; and yet Becky's schoolmate is a Caribbean heiress, and the black footman is romancing one of the (white) maids without anyone worrying unduly. So it may be a somewhat unpleasant picture, but it is at least a three-dimensional one.

I saw that one of the later chapters is set in Brussels. Hope I find the book soon, so that I can report back on that too.

Edited to add: Found it! On a shelf in the kitchen. Where I am sure I had already looked. Four or five times.
Tags: writer: william makepeace thackeray

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