Study Guide

Vanity Fair Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

Crawley of Queen's Crawley

  • The narrator tells us a bit about Sir Pitt, with the upshot being that he comes from a very long line of nobility.
  • On the road to a fancy London house, Sir Pitt's mansion, Becky wonders how fancy a man the Baronet will be.
  • (Brain Snack: "Baronet" is the lowest title a member of the aristocracy could have. But still, Sir Pitt is much higher than Mr. Pitt.)
  • At the door of the mansion, an old, dirty man meets the carriage and grudgingly helps Becky with her bags. She assumes this is some skeevy servant, but he instead reveals himself to be...Sir Pitt himself!
  • Sir Pitt speaks with a low-class Hampshire accent.
  • (Brain Snack bonus: there were many, many dialects and accents in Britain, which could identify the social and economic standing of the speaker almost immediately.)
  • He eats tripe and onions for dinner with Mrs. Tinker, the cleaning lady. What would the Victorians think? Tripe and onions? Gross poor-people food. Eating with the servants? Total aristocracy no-no.
  • Not only is he rude, unpleasant, and not very clean, but Sir Pitt is also very cheap and super litigious. All he does is sue people and get sued in return. He asks whether Becky has good handwriting, implying that she is going do some secretarial work for him on top of her governess-ing.
  • The next morning, Sir Pitt and Becky take a coach down to Queen's Crawley, the Pitt estate in the country. This is yet one more sign of his cheapness – a Baronet would usually have his own carriage and not take public transportation.

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