Frances Anne Kemble was born in 1809 into an established theatrical family, and made her acting debut as Juliet opposite her father's Mercutio and her mother's Lady Capulet in 1829. Her father was Charles Kemble (1775-1854), who managed Covent Garden, as well as being an actor; her mother was Marie Therese De Camp (1774-1838); her younger sister Adelaide Sartoris (1816-79) became a singer; and her aunt was Sarah Siddons. She became an actress to save her parents from having to sell Covent Garden, though she protests in her autobiography that she had no inclination for the stage. When her father took her on tour to America in 1833, she met and married an American planter, Pierce Butler (d. 1867), with whom she had two daughters, Fanny and Sarah. The marriage soon ran into difficulties, however, especially over slavery, which she abhorred. After their divorce in 1848, she returned to the stage and gave readings of Shakespeare, but continued living in America (Lennox, Massachusetts) to be near her daughters. She also embarked on a long autobiographical project, beginning with Record of a Girlhood (2 vols, 1878), and continuing with Records of Later Life (3 vols, 1882) and Further Records 1848-1883 (1890). Together with her travel books, such as Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-9 (1863), these provide an extensive response to a controversial way of life. She died in London in 1893. The following extract from Records of a Girlhood, which was designed primarily to be entertaining, begins when Fanny was about four years old.