Set in Regency England, Vanity Fair follows the lives of two young women from drastically different backgrounds. Becky Sharp is the daughter of a lowly art teacher while Amelia Sedley is the daughter of a wealthy investor. Although the two women are worlds apart in personality and background, Becky and Amelia become friends while in finishing school. When Amelia invites Becky to her family home, events are set in motion that result in both tragedy and fortune.
Vanity Fair takes the listener into a male-dominated society driven by materialism and greed. It is a world where a woman's position is determined by how well she marries. Becky will settle for nothing less than the best, while Amelia is satisfied with the life she has always known. Thackeray is known for his satirical works targeting British society, and Vanity Fair does just that.