English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray was born on this day in 1811. Though Thackeray’s career was long and lustrous, he is best known for his satirical novel, Vanity Fair. First published in serial form in 1847 to 1848, Wikipedia has this to say about the novel:
Even before the last part of the serial was published, critics hailed the work as a literary treasure. Although the critics were superlative in their praise, they expressed disappointment at the unremittingly dark portrayal of human nature, fearing Thackeray had taken his dismal metaphor too far. In response to his critics, Thackeray explained that he saw people for the most part "abominably foolish and selfish". The unhappy ending was intended to inspire readers to look inward at their own shortcomings.
Labels: classic fiction