Picture books: "thinly-veiled endorsements of chaos, malfeasance, naïveté"?
Ghosts, Rebels, Guys

Stealing Blog Names from Thackeray's "Vanity Fair"

I have been tickled by many of the character names while reading the nineteenth-century novel Vanity Fair. If I were going to start another literary blog (okay, one can argue that Chicken Spaghetti is literary, but let's pretend), I'd be tempted to choose from the following.

Lady Bareacres

the Reverend Giles Jowls, the Reverend Mr Flowerdew, and the Reverend Silas Hornblower

the Tutbury Pet

the Rottingdean Fibber

Jack Spatterdash

the Misses Wapshot

Sir Huddleston Fuddleston and Lady Fuddleston

Lady Jane Sheepshanks

Sir Pitt Crawley

the noble Binkies

I'd never read Vanity Fair before, so I didn't know that this is where Becky Sharp comes from. She's the orphan/anti-heroine who elbows her way up the social ladder. In an early chapter, "Miss Sharp begins to make Friends," Thackeray writes,

"Whether it was the heart which dictated this new system of complaisance and humility adopted by our Rebecca, is to be proved by her after history. A system of hypocrisy, which lasts through whole years, is one seldom satisfactorily practised by a person of one-and-twenty; however, our readers will recollect that, though young in years, our heroine was old in life and experience, and we have written to no purpose if they have not discovered that she was a very clever woman."

In other words, what's she up to next? I'm halfway through Vanity Fair, Waterloo has come and gone, and Becky is busy charming Paris. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Vanity Fair is rather fun! I read it because Anne mentiones Becky Sharp in Anne of Windy Poplars, and I wanted to know what she was talking about...

When my family plays "Rock Band," which suggests randomized band names for you, we always know when we've hit just the right one. I had that same feeling seeing "the noble Binkies." That's the name.

Charlotte, a lot of it is funny. I had no idea! I picked up Vanity Fair because a review of the new(ish) translation of War and Peace mentioned that VF was also set during the Napoleonic Wars. Couldn't be more different! Occasionally the dated cultural attitudes do make me cringe, though.

Oh, yes! The Noble Binkies--gotta love 'em. I'm partial to the Tutbury Pet. So nutty.

Oh, I so want to start The Noble Binkies as a blog!

Awesome, right, Gregory K.? I hope I find some more as I read.

You are a better man than I, Gunga Din. I only ever got about five chapters into this hefty tome... repeatedly. I finally gave up at one point. Good for you!

Ms. Y, it is slow going for me--even slower than War and Peace, for some reason. I am determined not to surrender!

I think I'd have to go with "Noble Binkies."

I read Vanity Fair when I was a teen, but it was so long ago now that I don't remember it. Might be a good one to reread.

Adrienne, you read it as a teenager? That is awesome; it's a long book. I've kind of stalled in my reading but hoping to get back to it this weekend.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)