England in the pre-Victorian era: It's still a little bit until the successful industrialization of the country will happen. The kingdom is on the side of the other European powers in the wars of liberation against Napoleon 1813-15. It is the time of the legendary Battle of Waterloo, the famous turning point in history.
English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, is next to Charles Dickens the most important writer of the Victorian era. Vanity Fair illuminates the typical mechanism of society at that time and the game's characters for money, prestige, pleasure and love.
The main character of the novel is Becky Sharp: She is the daughter of a poor painter and a destitute opera singer and dreams of living a glamorous life since she was a child. Due to her low origin Becky is struggling to climb the social ladder. - She is pretty, smart, and extremely ambitious, but lacks the right man who pave the road to her dream of being part of the best circles.
'Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by 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.'