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Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair


by William Makepeace Thackeray

William Dobbin Timeline and Summary

  • Dobbin is born the son of a prosperous grocer. His father pays for his school in kind rather than coin.
  • In school Dobbin has a meet-cute with George when Dobbin saves George from a bully. From then on the two are friends.
  • Dobbin is invited to go to Vauxhall with Amelia, Jos, George, and Becky. He takes one look at Amelia and falls in love.
  • When the Sedleys go bankrupt, Dobbin goes to their estate sale and buys back Amelia's piano for her. He sends it to her anonymously, and she assumes it's from George.
  • When he visits the Sedleys, Dobbin notices that Amelia looks pale and sick. He persuades George to marry her as soon as possible so she doesn't die from a broken heart. He acts as best man at the wedding.
  • Amelia and George go on their honeymoon, and Dobbin stays behind to try to patch things up with Mr. Osborne. It doesn't really work out and Dobbin has to give George two pieces of bad news: his father has disowned him and the army has been ordered overseas to fight Napoleon.
  • In Brussels Dobbin keeps Amelia company and tries to get George to stop gambling so much.
  • At an important ball Amelia is left alone and finally asks Dobbin, using his first name (shocking!), to take her home.
  • Dobbin distinguishes himself in combat and is promoted and decorated.
  • Back in London Dobbin becomes Amelia's son's godfather and is very hands-on. Also, since Amelia has been left with nothing to live on after George's death, Dobbin buys an annuity for her with his own money and pretends George set it up before he died.
  • Seeing that his love is going nowhere, he eventually leaves with his regiment for India, where he has a successful career. He also does his best not to get engaged to Mrs. O'Dowd's sister Glorvina.
  • Hearing that Amelia might be getting remarried, Dobbin hurries back to London. Turns out she's not getting remarried, but she was forced to give up her son to the Osbornes. After Mr. Osborne dies, she gets her son back, and Dobbin proposes a tour of Europe.
  • They travel to Pumpernickel, where they run into Becky. Dobbin strongly objects to Amelia having anything to do with her, and when his advice is ignored he tells Amelia that enough is enough and leaves for London.
  • After a few days he gets a letter from Amelia asking him to come back. He does immediately and marries her.
  • They move back to London and have a daughter. Dobbin adores his little girl and slowly falls out of love with Amelia.