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.