"Fanny Kemble’s Civil Wars," a talk by author Catherine Clinton about turmoil in the life of well-known 19th-century actress, writer, and abolitionist Fanny Kemble, will be presented at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia, Wednesday, May 30, at 5:30 p.m. After the talk Clinton will sign copies of her books Fanny Kemble’s Civil Wars and Fanny Kemble’s Journals that will be available for purchase. Admission to the program will be free. For more information visit the Society’s web site at www.hsp.org or call 215-732-6200 ext. 412.
Kemble, born into the “royal family” of British theater, debuted at the age of 19 on the London stage as Shakespeare’s Juliet. She subsequently took the United States by storm with her first tour in 1832. Witty and observant, Kemble moved in the highest Anglo-American literary circles. A society marriage to Pierce Butler, scion of a prominent Philadelphia family and owner of a Georgia plantation, pitched Kemble into an agonizing struggle over both slavery and marriage, which she carried on privately in her eloquent journals until she and Butler divorced in 1849. Clinton’s biography, Fanny Kemble’s Civil Wars, works from the Journals to explore Kemble’s sharp insights into the intersecting experience of 19th-century marriage and American slavery.
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania houses collections containing Kemble’s letters, as well as papers of the family of Pierce Butler. Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest historical societies in the United States and holds historical materials of national importance. It is one of the largest family history libraries in the nation, has excellent printed collections on local and regional history, and offers a manuscript collection renowned for its 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century holdings.
Public Information Officer
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 732-6200 Ext. 246
Fax: (215) 732-2680 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at http://www.hsp.org
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