Book Club II: Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839

“Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation” in 1838-1839 (published 1863) by Frances “Fanny” Anne Kemble-ButlerOur first book club was such a success, we’re going to do it again!

Originally published in 1863 – and out-of-print and unavailable for almost a century- Frances Anne Kemble’s Journal has long been recognized by historians as unique in the literature of American slavery and invaluable for obtaining a clear view of the “peculiar institution” and of life in the antebellum South.

Fanny Kemble was one of the leading lights of the English stage in the nineteenth century. During a tour of America in the 1830s, she met and married a wealthy Philadelphian, Pierce Butler, part of whose fortune derived from his family’s vast cotton and rice plantation on the Sea Islands of Georgia and formerly, South Carolina. After their marriage, she spent several months living on the plantation. Profoundly shocked by what she saw, she recorded her observations of plantation life in a series of journal entries written as letters to a friend. She never sent the letters. It wasn’t until the Civil War began and Fanny, divorced from Pierce Butler, was living in England where her letters were published in book format.

This book provides the modern reader with the historical and biographical background to move freely and with ease in Fanny Kemble’s world. We will be reading from and chatting about this book on Sunday, 18 July 2021 at 4pm EST.

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Books by Brian Sheffey

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