Fanny Kemble 1809-93, actress and writer


Portrait of Fanny Kemble, hand-coloured stipple engraving by Charles Picart, after Sir Thomas Lawrence, published in 1831.


Frances Anne “Fanny” Kemble was a notable British actress, member of the famous Kemble theatrical family, and a niece of Sarah Siddons (1755-1831), the great tragedienne. In 1829, at the age of 20, she first appeared on the stage as Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, at Covent Garden Theatre. Her personality made her a great favourite, and she played all of the principal women’s roles of the time, including Shakespeare’s Portia and Beatrice, and Lady Teazle in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal.