The Victorian snobs depicted by Thackeray might ruin themselves to pay for a fashionable hat or a pianoforte in the back parlour or an absurdly expensive truffle-laden dinner. This was because they felt it was social death to dine with people of the wrong class, such as doctors or lawyers, instead of “the country families”. Maybe I move in the wrong circles (or do I mean the right circles?), but I wonder how many people in modern Britain, even posh people, still think or act like this.
Good lord, I see this behavior *every day*. Affluenza, anyone?