Written in 1848, Vanity Fair is an excellent satire of English society in the early 19th Century. Thackeray states several times that it is a novel «without a hero», and at a couple of points tries to claim that Amelia, a good person but who inevitably comes across as rather wishy-washy, is the heroine. Thackeray apparently saw people as «abominably selfish and foolish», and this negative view comes across loud and clear with his use of vicious vocabulary, and his unremittingly dark portrayal of human nature. The author's voice is continually present, and his wry observations do contribute to making the novel vastly entertaining. They were also intended to make it instructive to his readers.