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  • Theme: Fanny Kemble

    Posted by David Foster on December 14th, 2014 (All posts by )

    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.

     

    4 Responses to “Theme: Fanny Kemble”

    1. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      David

      There’s an enormous amount of free literature available through Amazon for Kindle. Here’s Fanny Kemble, for example:

      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Fanny%20Kemble&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

    2. Gringo Says:

      For those not wedded to the Amazon ecosystem, Project Gutenberg also has Fanny Kemble.
      I am working down my American History books, and will soon tackle the diaries of Fanny Kemble and Mary Chesnut.

      http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/k#a26319

    3. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Gringo

      What’s nice about the Kindle books is they’re formatted as books and the reader behaves like a book, displaying a page at a time. Also, if you stop reading one thing, then go read another, then come back, it remembers where you left off. You can also sort books into categories to create a filing system for your library and lots of other things. Lastly, if I wanted to read one of the books I linked, I just “purchase” it at no cost, then it downloads onto my Kindle on request. I can find a book and be reading it a few minutes later. It really is a nice little appliance and mine is a Gen II B&W version. The newer versions are more akin to a tablet device, I believe.

    4. Gringo Says:

      Michael Hiteshew: those capabilities you listed for a Kindle also apply to my Nook Simple Touch. The Kindle Fire I have, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have the capability to create your own shelves/categories, but my Nook Color and Nook Simple Touch both have the capability to create your own shelves/categories. I prefer the EPUB system to the MOBI system, because I prefer page numbers that go 1,2,3 instead of 1,8,15.Table of Contents are easier to navigate in EPUB. The Nook Simple Touch can read most PDF documents in different fonts, which as far as I can tell, the Kindle cannot do. All Kindles can do with PDFs is to zoom.

      My comparison of Kindles versus Nooks is that the Nooks have superior hardware, but the Amazon web page is much more user friendly than the B&N web page. If B&N had devoted more time to making their web page more user friendly, they would have had better digital sales, and perhaps wouldn’t have discontinued the Nook Simple Touch.

      Fortunately, there are still EPUB readers on the market, such as Kobo’s, so when and if my Nook Simple Touch conks out, I will have alternatives other than a tablet.