As a journalist, I’m used to delving into history books in the name of research. From medieval queens to modern pioneers, I write about badass women who broke the mould from the safety of my laptop, with a hefty supply of snacks on the side.
That extends to TV and period dramas too, and with ITV’s Vanity Fair currently gracing our screens, I set myself the task of living like the protagonist I’m avidly watching.
That would require turning the clock back 200 odd years and transforming myself into Becky Sharp – the clever, charming and ambitious heroine of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel, set in the early 1800s.
Chances are, you know of Becky already. An expert manipulator, she has the sharpest elbows of any literary heroine in the canon, using every social interaction as a means to climb the ranks, forever on the prowl for a man to elevate her status.
But for all of her faults, her get-up-and-go is completely inspiring – identifiable, even. And lest we forget the time she was destined to live in, which was hardly made for those with feminist ideals.
Read the full feature here.