William Thackeray was a 19th century British novelist. He was famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of English society. In the early 1840s, Thackeray had some success with two travel books, The Paris Sketch Book and The Irish Sketch Book. Vanity Fair is a novel without a hero. Two young women--wellborn, humble Amelia Sedley and social-climbing, amoral Becky Sharp--meet at boarding school. Both seek husbands and happiness in Europe around the time of the Napoleonic campaigns. Both marry, but Amelia's husband wants to leave her for Becky until he is killed at the Battle of Waterloo. , Thackeray wrote this cynical novel, intending to expose social hypocrisy and sham.