Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by English author William Makepeace Thackeray. The subtitle, A Novel without a Hero, is apt because the characters are all flawed to a greater or lesser degree; even the most sympathetic have weaknesses, for example Captain Dobbin, who is prone to vanity and melancholy. The human weaknesses Thackeray illustrates are mostly to do with greed, idleness, and snobbery, and the scheming, deceit and hypocrisy which mask them. None of the characters are wholly evil, although Becky's psychopathic tendencies make her come pretty close. However, even Becky, who is amoral and cunning, is thrown on her own resources by poverty and its stigma. (She is the orphaned daughter of a poor artist and an opera dancer.) Thackeray's tendency to highlight faults in all of his characters displays his desire for a greater level of realism in his fiction compared to the rather unlikely or idealized people in many contemporary novels.
The novel is a satire of society as a whole, characterized by hypocrisy and opportunism, but it is not a reforming novel; there is no suggestion that social or political changes, or greater piety and moral reformism could improve the nature of society. It thus paints a fairly bleak view of the human condition. This bleak portrait is continued with Thackeray's own role as an omniscient narrator, one of the writers best known for using the technique. He continually offers asides about his characters and compares them to actors and puppets, but his scorn goes even as far as his readers; accusing all who may be interested in such "Vanity Fairs" as being either "of a lazy, or a benevolent, or a sarcastic mood".
Barry Lyndon is a picaresque novel by William Makepeace Thackeray about a member of the Irish gentry trying to become a member of the English aristocracy. Redmond Barry of Bally Barry, born to a genteel but ruined Irish family, fancies himself a gentleman. He is a hot-tempered, passionate lad, and falls madly in love with his cousin, Nora. The lad tries to engage in a duel with Nora's suitor, an English officer named John Quinn. He is made to think that he has assassinated the man, though the pistols were actually loaded with dummy loads. Redmond flees to Dublin, where he quickly falls in with bad company in the way of con artists, and soon loses all his money. He goes on to experience a series of military adventures eventually descending into decadence. Redmond eventually bullies and seduces the Countess of Lyndon to marry him. Eventually Barry Lyndon is separated from his wife, and lodged in Fleet Prison. He spends the last nineteen years of his life in prison, dying of alcoholism-related illness.
Die Memoiren eines Hochstaplers/ Ein Hochstapler par excellence
Liebesabenteuer, Glücksspiele aller Art, wagemutige Duelle, glanzvolle Maskenbälle, Zechgelage und Hetzjagden machen das Leben von Redmond Barry aus, der sich später Barry Lyndon nennt und vor aller Welt seine aristokratische Herkunft rühmt. Sogar die Hand einer vermögenden Gräfin-Witwe vermag er zu gewinnen. Im Londoner Schuldgefängnis schreibt er schließlich seine Memoiren.
Die wechselvolle Lebensgeschichte eines Abenteurers und Hochstaplers aus dem 18. Jahrhundert.
Weitere Werke: Barry Lyndon (1844), Das Snobbuch (1848) Die Geschichte des Pendennis (1850),
Die Memoiren des Mr.C. J. Yellowpush (1852), Die Geschichte des Henry Esmond (1852), Die Newcomes (1853/1855), Die Virginier ( 1857/ 1859); Die Abenteuer des Philip(1861/ 1862).
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