Vanity Fair Criticism

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Vanity Fair was published in several installments beginning on January 1, 1847, and reviews soon began appearing in London's magazines. Most writers who reviewed the early segments were not enthusiastic, nor was the public. The primary complaints of both critics and readers were that the novel was progressing slowly and without much action and that all the characters were unlikable.

Reception turned positive, however, after the first four installments. Once the whole of Vanity Fair had been published, it sold well (one 1848 reviewer wrote, "Everybody, it is to be supposed, has read the volume by this time.") and earned many glowing reviews. George Henry Lewes wrote in The Athenaeum,

For some years Mr. Thackeray has been a marked
man in letters—but known rather as an amusing
sketcher than as a serious artist. Light playful contributions
to periodical literature and two amusing
books of travel were insufficient to make a...



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This section contains 571 words
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Buy the Vanity Fair Study Guide
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Vanity Fair from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.