An urbane, satirical, tongue-in-cheek English conversation piece, with a marriage de convenance as the quarry. A shrewd, worldly, modern Becky Sharp, after a life of European drifting and sponging, decides to marry to give her illegitimate child a secure background. Her choice is an equally calculating man who is determined to make her his mistress. She wins, gets engaged, and then, falls in love with his elderly married cousin, well established head of a family. Letting her heart rule her head, she runs away with the cousin, only to lose him to his family... A sophisticated and very aware book with many flashes of insight and subtlety.