Thackeray's Waterloo: history and war in Vanity Fair

Hammond, Mary (2002) Thackeray's Waterloo: history and war in Vanity Fair. Literature and History, 11, (2), 19-38.


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Using contemporary writings about Waterloo gleaned from a number of primary sources, this paper places Vanity Fair in the context of what Eric Hobsbawm (1968) has described as a 'concentrated effort' on the part of the middle classes of the 1840s to `give themselves confidence and pride in their historic task' by `reshaping the institutions of Britain in a manner suitable to industrial capitalism'. It argues that one of the most crucial reshapings being carried out was the `official' history of war, and that it is a critique of this practice which lies at the heart of Thackeray's satire.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0306-1973 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: william makepeace thackeray, vanity fair, battle of waterloo, critique of `official' war history
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > English
ePrint ID: 48443
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
October 2002Published
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:24

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