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Vanity Fair is a novel by English author William Makepeace Thackeray, first published in 1847–48, satirizing society in early 19th-century Britain. The book's title comes from John Bunyan's allegorical story The Pilgrim's Progress, first published in 1678 and still widely read at the time of Thackeray's novel. "Vanity Fair" refers to a stop along the pilgrim's progress: a never-ending fair held in a town called Vanity, which is meant to represent man's sinful attachment to worldly things.
The novel is now considered a classic, and has inspired several film adaptations, the most recent being the 2004 film starring Reese Witherspoon. In 2003, Vanity Fair was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel".
- Popular Classic Fiction Books, March 2013
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