Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
I read this because I wanted something similar to North and South and because I'd never read it. It was funny and well-written but very long. Also, all the characters were extremely frustrating, even the "good guys." But that's kind of the point of this book--everybody has faults. Definitely interesting to read about the antics of those who manage to pretend they have money. In some ways, not much has changed.