Domestic Manners of the Americans

Trollope, Frances. Domestic Manners of the Americans. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949.

Frances “Fanny” Trollope disliked Americans for their lack of “domestic manners.” In other words she didn’t know how to embrace culturally differences. One man’s rude belch is another man’s generous compliment to the chef. But, Frances Trollope didn’t see it that way. The American accent grated on Trollope’s ears. She found the living conditions deplorable as well. Pigs running wild in the streets of Cincinnati bothered her but she conceded that if it weren’t for the pigs the street would be overrun with food rubbish! She longed for England’s refinement. One has to keep in mind the era as well. America was trying to be as backwards from British rule as possible.
Favorite line, “…before the end of August I fell low before the monster that is forever stalking that land of lakes and rivers, breathing fever and death around” (p 178). I like the sheer monstrosity of it all.

Reason read: Frances Trollope was born in the month of March. I also read Fanny: a novel by Edmund White at the same time. Was it worth it? Not sure what I was supposed to get out of that exercise, so I would have to say no.

Book trivia: Domestic Manners of the Americans inspired Edmund White to write Fanny: a Novel.

Author fact: Domestic Manners of the Americans was Frances Trollope’s first book.

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “”Two, or Three, Are Better Than One (p 226).



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