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Frances Anne Kemble

Frances Anne Kemble (Fanny Kemble) (November 27, 1800 - January 15, 1893), the actress and author, was Charles Kemble's elder daughter; she was born in London, and educated chiefly in France.

She first appeared on the stage on October 26 1829 as Juliet at Covent Garden. Her attractive personality at once made her a great favorite, her popularity enabling her father to recoup his losses as a manager. She played all the principal women's parts, notably Portia, Beatrice and Lady Teazle, but Julia in Sheridan Knowles's The Hunchback, especially written for her, was perhaps her greatest success.

In 1832 she went with her father to America, and in 1834 she married there a Southern planter, Pierce Butler. They were divorced in 1849. In 1847 she returned to the stage, from which she had retired on her marriage, and later, following her father's example, appeared with much success as a Shakespearian reader.

In 1877 she returned to England, where she lived in London using her maiden name till her death. During this period Fanny Kemble was a prominent and popular figure in the social life of London.

Besides her plays, Francis the First, unsuccessfully produced in 1832, The Star of Seville (1837), a volume of Poems (1844), and a book of Italian travel, A Year of Consolation (1847), she published a volume of her Journal in 1835, and in 1863 another (dealing with life on the Georgia plantation), and also a volume of Plays, including translations from Dumas and Schiller. These were followed by Records of a Girlhood (1878), Records of Later Life (1882), Notes on some of Shakespeare's Plays (1882), Far Away and Long Ago (1889), and Further Records (1891).

Her various volumes of reminiscences contain much valuable material for the social and dramatic history of the period.