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The Book of Snobs

William Makepeace Thackeray

Book Overview: 

The necessity of a work on Snobs, demonstrated from History, and proved by felicitous illustrations:—I am the individual destined to write that work—My vocation is announced in terms of great eloquence—I show that the world has been gradually preparing itself for the work and the man—Snobs are to be studied like other objects of Natural Science, and are a part of the Beautiful (with a large B). They pervade all classes—Affecting instance of Colonel Snobley.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .t, swelling with pride of race, the descendant of illustrious Norman robbers, whose blood has been pure for centuries, and who looks down upon common Englishmen as a free American does on a nigger,—I like to see old Stiffneck obliged to bow down his head and swallow his infernal pride, and drink the cup of humiliation poured out by Pump and Aldgate's butler. 'Pump and Aldgate, says he, 'your grandfather was a bricklayer, and his hod is still kept in the bank. Your pedigree begins in a workhouse; mine can be dated from all the royal palaces of Europe. I came over with the Conqueror; I am own cousin to Charles Martel, Orlando Furioso, Philip Augustus, Peter the Cruel, and Frederick Barbarossa. I quarter the Royal Arms of Brentford in my coat. I despise you, but I want money; and I will sell you my beloved daughter, Blanche Stiffneck, for a hundred thousand pounds, to pay off my mortgages. Let your son marry her, and she shall become Lady Blanche Pump and Aldgate.' Read More

Community Reviews

A periodically amusing book but many of its sections aren’t apt to have much relevance to modern readers. As a result I skimmed over a number of the chapters and ended up reading (most of) the book in random drips and drabs. In my opinion Thackery did a far better job of satirizing social climber...more

Sorry Thackeray

I've stuck this on my read shelf but (quiet whisper) I haven't actually finished it. The writing is witty, but too repetitive. As an article, it would be great, but as a book it just ends up rehashing the same old ideas and jokes.

Any literary-minded American young person, particularly those of an Anglophilic bent, will discover Punch magazine at some point in their adolescence and probably think to themselves, "why is this considered funny?".

This book anthologizes weekly columns Thackeray wrote for Punch in 1847-48 - of c...more

Le mie quattro stelle non si riferiscono esplicitamente a questa edizione del lavoro di Thackeray. La traduzione è palesemente datata e inadeguata a rendere con la dovuta originale brillantezza questo pamphlet.
Si colloca infatti circa a due terzi del lungo periodo che intercorre fra la prima pub...more

Some chapters were more funny compared to others, but the irony of Thackeray is really well used in this little sarcastic book.

Alcuni capitoli erano più divertenti di altri, ma comunque Thackeray utilizza la sua ironia in quantità industriale per riempire questo breve libro di sarcasmo.

Given to me by a friend who knows I am a snob about many things (hopefully with humor!), I found this book to be entertaining and in some ways enlightening. Thackeray takes every type of character you could imagine, and discusses the stereotypical "snob" of that group. He does this with wit and h...more

Everybody is a snob of some sort. The important thing is to discover just what kind of snob you are and then accommodate yourself to your fault. Thackeray has written a kind of natural history of snobs that assists the identification process. A close reading of this book will save years of therap...more

The Book of Snobs is a collection of weekly columns written in 1848 for Punch magazine By William Makepeace Thackeray. Thackeray may not have invented the word “snob”, but the idea of an upwardly mobile mercantile middle class desperate to appear better born than they had been was still quite new...more

The problem with humor of another era is that it doesn't necessarily make sense in another cultural context. Parts of this book were very funny, indeed, and parts were just a little tedious.

Recommended only for the very knowledgeable in Victorian literature and culture.

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