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Fanny Kemble (1809-1893), Actress and author

Frances Anne ('Fanny') Kemble

Sitter in 24 portraits
A successful actress from a theatrical family; her father was Charles Kemble and her aunt, Sarah Siddons. Following a string of London hits she travelled to America. There she married an American planter, Pierce Butler, in 1834. Visiting his estates in Georgia, she was appalled that the source of his wealth was slavery and tried to alleviate the suffering she found there. They divorced in 1848-9. With the outbreak of the American Civil War, her Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-9 was published in 1863 by abolitionists. She lived in Britain and in the United States, writing and occasionally giving public readings. She is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

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Fanny Kemble

by Charles Picart, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
stipple engraving, published 1831
NPG D36827


Fanny Kemble as Calista in Rowe's 'The Fair Penitent'

by Henry Richard Cook, published by Simpkin and Marshall, published by C. Chapple, after Joseph John Jenkins
hand-coloured stipple engraving, published 1 June 1831
NPG D8955


Fanny Kemble as Julia in Knowles' 'The Hunchback'

by Maxim Gauci, printed by Lefevre & Co, published by Bucknall
hand-coloured lithograph, published 16 June 1832
NPG D5158