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Vanity Fair Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 174 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Vanity Fair.
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Historical Context

Napoleon and the Battle of Waterloo

The Napoleonic Wars began in the late 1790s, with Napoleon Bonaparte leading the revolutionary government in France. For the next several years, the British suffered military defeats at sea, several attempted invasions by the French, as well as the economic inflation and disruption that often accompany war. The British formed a series of alliances to fight the French, and the Fourth Coalition, comprising Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, succeeded in routing Napoleon and exiling him in 1814. In 1815, Napoleon escaped from exile on the island of Elba and retook the French throne. It is this event that brings the major characters of Vanity Fair to Brussels and leads to the famous Battle of Waterloo.

At the news of Napoleon's return, the Fourth Coalition nations quickly committed a force of 150,000 soldiers to gather in Belgium and invade France on July 1, 1815. The British general, Arthur...

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This section contains 820 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Vanity Fair Study Guide
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Vanity Fair from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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