Before Vanity Fair, There Was Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair magazine, as opposed to William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel, appeared in three incarnations beginning in the 1800s. It was a short-lived, Manhattan-based humorous weekly, published from 1859 to 1863 (below). In England from 1868 to 1914, Vanity Fair was the title of a periodical that became known as the cream of the period’s “society magazines,” best remembered for its stunning caricatures by Sir Leslie (“Spy”) Ward, one of the magazine’s famed illustrators.

In 1890, another American version began weekly publication, re-conceived as a theater magazine. All this before publisher Conde Nast re-birthed his own Vanity Fair in 1914, which became the clarion of the Jazz Age.

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