Tag Archives: fanny trollope

The Domestic Manners of Americans – Fanny Trollope

Domestic Manners of the Americans - Fanny Trollope

Domestic Manners of the Americans – Fanny Trollope

We read this for my Victorian study group. I knew it was going to be a slog and I made myself read 2% a day – although in the last week I had to read 5% a day (I must have slacked off at some stage).

Here is a description …

Frances Trollope, mother of the great Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope, wrote more than 40 books in her lifetime, including landmark novels dealing with important social issues. She is best known today, however, for this witty, entertaining, and controversial account of American life and culture. Published in 1832, this book presents a lively portrait of early nineteenth-century America as observed by a woman of rare intelligence and keen perception. The author left no stone unturned, commenting on American dress, food, speech, politics, manners, customs, the landscape, architecture, and more.

Mrs Trollope didn’t find much to admire in America – the manners were bad, too much spitting, too much drinking, strange religious practice, no culture, poorly educated populace and possibly their worst fault was a prejudice against the English. The scenery, however, was occasionally breath-taking particularly Niagara Falls. She tried to be an impartial observer, but it just felt cold and distant (and very judgemental). I would have preferred a more personal account. The descriptions of various places in America was interesting – particularly with the passage of time. I often got the atlas out to trace her journey.

At my group discussion it became clear that some biographical information and knowledge about the circumstances of the American trip would have enhanced the reading of this book.

I can’t say that I will be adding any Fanny Trollope’s to me to be read pile.

Here is a review I found…



Leave a Comment

Filed under Non-Fiction