Thanks for the votes, friends!
* * *Speaking of well-written, do any of you remember me doing a 'meme' blog post listing books I hadn't read but wanted to? Well, I'm using that post as a reading list. It's part of my ongoing self-improvement program. I have finished off five of them, and am midway through three others. I'll do an updated list at some future date, but in the meantime I am reading Vanity Fair.
First of all, it's annoying me that the only edition I could find in my library is one with Reese Witherspoon on the cover. I am not a snob, normally, but I admit I find it a little galling to be seen reading a book that says "Now A Major Motion Picture" on it. It may be a character failing - I'll look into it. (See "self-improvement program", above.)
Except for the cover, I actually quite like the book. It's more interesting than I expected. However, the print is small, and if there's one thing that points out one's age, it's trying to read a book whose lower-case "o"s measure one millimeter in diameter.
I measured one.
William Makepeace Thackeray is also much too fond of moralising in parenthetical asides to the reader. My high-school writing teacher would have hemorrhaged red ink all over his MS - "Show, don't tell!" she'd have written. He "shows" just fine - there is no need to tell. Cynically, I suspect that he, like Dickens, was being paid by the word.