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Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, first published in 1847-48, that satirizes society in early 19th-century England.
The term "vanity fair" originates from the allegorical story The Pilgrim's Progress, published in 1678 by John Bunyan where there is a town fair held in a village called Vanity.
The story opens at Miss Pinkerton's Academy for Young Ladies, where the principal protagonists Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley have just completed their studies and are preparing to depart for Amelia's house in Russell Square. Becky is portrayed as a strong-willed and cunning young woman determined to make her way in society, and Amelia Sedley as a good-natured, loveable, though simple-minded young girl.