Though not the most ambitious British TV adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's 19th century novel Vanity Fair, this six-part BBC1 version was arguably the most expensive and elaborate. Natasha Little was cast as scheming country lass Becky Sharp, who managed to climb to the top of the British social ladder during and after the Napoleonic Wars, leaving a trail of broken hearts, betrayed friendships, and shattered reputations in her wake. Somehow, however, Becky always managed to land on her feet, and after mending her ways in middle age, she lived out her declining years as a much-beloved "Lady Bountiful." Debuting in Britain on November 1, 1998, Vanity Fair subsequently aired as part of the American public TV Masterpiece Theatre anthology beginning October 24, 1999.
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