The posts in this fourth “theme” roundup are about the British actress and writer Fanny Kemble, whose observations on America…and on life in general…are very interesting.
Fanny Kemble’s train trip. A ride on the newly-constructed London-Manchester line, in 1830. Fanny’s escort for the trip was George Stephenson (“with whom I am most horribly in love”), the self-taught engineer who had been the driving force behind the line’s construction. She contrasts Stephenson’s character with that of an aristocrat called Lord Alvanley and the class of which he was an outstanding representative.
Author appreciation: Fanny Kemble. Shortly after her railroad trip, Fanny visited the United States on a theatrical tour and married an plantation owner from Georgia. Her “Journal of a Residence in America” got a lot of attention, quite a bit of it negative; however, her vivid description of the realities of slavery has been credited with helping to ensure that Britain would not enter the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy.
Further Fannyisms. Some excerpts from the Kemble journals that I thought were particularly interesting.
There are a number of memoirs by Europeans who visited America during the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s, and I hope to review some of the other ones in the future.