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Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life Hardcover – June 1, 2007

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Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life + Fanny Kemble's Civil Wars + Fanny Kemble's Journals
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812240235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812240238
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,775,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Lively and thorough, both fuller and more balanced across the whole of a long life than its recent predecessors,."—The Economist

"Acclaimed, reviled, acclaimed again, Fanny Kemble played a highly significant cultural role on both sides of the Atlantic. As Deirdre David convincingly shows, the life of this actress-turned-writer-turned-polemicist not only offers a fascinating subject in its own right but also intersects with so many of the nineteenth-century figures who still interest us today: the Shelleys, the Brownings, Carlyle, Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, Liszt, Longfellow, Hawthorne, Henry James, and many, many more. David's absolute familiarity with all of them is impressive and reassuring, but it is of course Kemble herself who matters here most, and David's enormous empathy with this mercurial woman is wonderfully infectious."—U. C. Knoepflmacher, Princeton University

"Fascination with Kemble . . . does not abate. This scholarly, erudite, and thorough study by David . . . far exceeds all others in its balance and in its careful analysis of this complex and variegated life. . . . A great addition to the literature on important women, the theater, and numerous aspects of the nineteenth century. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice

"Deirdre David's book, meticulously researched and vividly readable, while consistently sympathetic to her subject, is always thoughtful, considered, nuanced, and illuminating. It evokes with equal success the theatrical world of nineteenth-century England and the plantation world of the antebellum South."—Journal of Victorian Culture

"This very lively and engaging volume is a wonderful introduction into the world of one of the nineteenth century's most celebrated theatrical performers. . . . Distinctive and welcome . . . evocative and perceptive."—Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

About the Author

Deirdre David is Professor Emerita of English at Temple University. She is the author of several books, including Rule Britannia: Women, Empire, and Victorian Writing, and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life is the amazing biography of the intelligent and cultured Fanny Kemble (1809-93), a Victorian celebrity known on both sides of the Atlantic as an actress, proud member of the Kemble theatrical dynasty, solo performer of Shakespeare, and author of journals about life on her husband's Georgia plantation. Fiercely antislavery despite being married to a wealthy slave owner, she published "Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation", a text that revealed the horrific conditions under which slaves lived, and eventually underwent a divorce. Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life is the first biography in twenty-five years to study her life in its entirely, and highly recommended as an unforgettable portrait of a complex and principled woman.
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