Mzansi Magic’s ‘KwaMamkhize’, a reality show on Shauwn Mkhize (née Mpisane) and her family. Picture: Supplied

‘Vanity Fair’ is one of the most popular books about 19th century England and Europe. It depicts an era of splendour, social climbing and poverty, in the midst of an impending war, the Battle of Waterloo.

It’s a delicious insight into a world where what you have and who you know, are the only things you need in life to survive and live the life of your dreams, even when you are broke. 

Such is the life of Becky Sharp, an orphaned daughter of an artist and dancer, who uses her wit and cunning to swindle her way into the upper crust of British aristocracy.