Domestic Manners of the Americans Paperback
Edited by Pamela Neville-Singleton
When Fanny Trollope set sail for America in 1827 with hopes of joining a Utopian community of emancipated slaves, she took with her three of her children and a young French artist, leaving behind her son Anthony, growing debts and a husband going slowly mad from mercury poisoning. But what followed was a tragicomedy of illness, scandal and failed business ventures.
Nevertheless, on her return to England Fanny turned her misfortunes into a remarkable book.
A masterpiece of nineteenth-century travel-writing, Domestic Manners of the Americans is a vivid and hugely witty satirical account of a nation and was a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/05/1997
- Category: Literary essays
- ISBN: 9780140435610
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Review by pussreboots
I take book suggestions from all sorts of sources. In the case of Domestic Manners of the Americans by Fanny Trollope, the recommendation came tucked into The Cat Who Robbed a Bank by Lilian Jackson Braun. Trollope's book was featured in a game of twenty questions that piqued my interest.Frances Trollope, mother of Anthony Trollope, and author of twenty-five novels, as well as travelogues, got the writing bug during her stay in the United States with three of her six children. The idea behind the trip was two fold — take a break from marital issues and rebuild some of the waning family fortune.The Trollops landed in New Orleans and from there traveled north via a commune in Tennessee to Cincinnati and later other urban centers in the area. Throughout her journey she remarked on the people she met, the mode of transportation, the weather, the food and pretty much anything else that either intrigued her or pissed her off.As this was the early days of United States and things were still pretty damn rural even in the big cities (note her descriptions of pigs as garbage disposal units), she of well established Britain, took her visits as something of an adventure into untamed, barbaric lands.Her travelog inspired Edmund White to pen Fanny: A Fiction. If I am to keep following the thread of recommendations from Braun to Trollop to White, I suppose I should read his book too. It is now on my wishlist to read as time permits.