Domestic Manners of the Americans
"I am convinced there is no writer who has so well and accurately (I need not add, so entertainingly) described [America] ... as you have done"Dickens to Fanny Trollope, 1842Acknowledgements
When Fanny Trollope set sail for America in 1827, she took with her three of her children and a young French artist. She left behind her son Anthony, growing debts and a husband going slowly mad from mercury poisoning. But her hopes of joining a Utopian community of emancipated slaves were soon dashed, and she and her children were forced to live by their wits in Cincinnati, then a booming frontier town on the Ohio River. What followed was a tragicomedy of illness, scandal and failed business ventures that left them destitute.
Nevertheless, on her return to England, Fanny turned her misfortunes into a remarkable book. Domestic Manners was a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic. A masterpiece of nineteenth-century travel-writing, it is also a timeless satire on a society torn between high ideals and human frailties. It remains as perceptive and funny today as it was when it was first published.
Selected Further Reading
Note on the Text
DOMESTIC MANNERS OF THE AMERICANS
Appendix A: Unpublished Preface from the Rough Draft of Domestic Manners of the Americans
Appendix B: Preface to the Fifth Edition of Domestic Manners of the Americans (1839)
Appendix C: 'A Fragment' Appended to the Fifth Edition