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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



English theatrical family of the 18th and 19th centuries. The family was established by Roger Kemble. Of his 12 children (almost all of whom were actors), the most prominent were the following.

Sarah SiddonsBorn 1755; died 1831. (SeeSIDDONS, SARAH.)

John Philip KembleBorn Feb. 1, 1757, in Prescott, Lancashire; died Feb. 26, 1823, in Lausanne. Actor and playwright (the tragedy Belisarius and the farce The Female Officer, for example).

J. P. Kemble performed in London in the Drury Lane and Covent Garden theaters (he managed both theaters at one time) and directed a theater in Dublin. An actor of the classicist school, he had great technical skills and was a master of monologue. Among the roles he played were the title roles in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello (the first he performed in the court dress of his time, the second in an English general’s uniform), Marlow in O. Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer, and Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Charles KembleBorn Nov. 25, 1775, in Brecon; died Nov. 12, 1854, in London. Actor.

C. Kemble performed in English provincial theaters, as well as the Drury Lane and Covent Garden theaters in London, and toured Belgium, France, Germany, and the USA. He was particularly successful in the roles of Romeo and Mercutio in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. His other roles included Orlando in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Charles in Sheridan’s School for Scandal, and Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. C. Kemble also revised and wrote plays (Point of Honor). In 1840, having left the stage, he delivered lectures on Shakespeare.


Baker, H. J. P. Kemble. Cambridge (Mass.), 1942.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fanny Kemble's brother Phillip redressed her wandering merchant, redeeming the family name somewhat.
(25) This particular aspect of artistic life in England was later outlined by Fanny Kemble who, after reflecting on the poverty of her childhood, writes:
For Fanny Kemble, performing Shakespeare was a means of showing that Portia was "the embodiment of ideal womanhood--generous, affectionate, and wise" or that "Juliet was a heroic young woman"--both reflecting possibilities for modern heroinism.
Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life by Deirdre David (Pennsylvania, 978-0-8122-4023-8).
Thus, Women as Hamlet includes within its fold Fanny Kemble's series of solo Shakespeare readings (1848), held as fund-raisers for women's and abolitionist organizations; novelist Mary Braddon's rewriting of Hamlet in Eleanor's Victory (1863); "regendered Hamlets" (91) such as Hedda Gabler; films in which female characters either wanted to play or to become Hamlet, such as in Morning Glory (starring Katharine Hepburn, 1933), All Men are Mortal (1995), which was based on a 1940s Simone de Beauvoir novel, and Robert Lepage's pastiche film noir Le Polygraphe (1996); and "meditations on the female Hamlet" (38) in Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince (1973) and Angela Carter's Wise Children (1991).
Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life is the amazing biography of the intelligent and cultured Fanny Kemble (1809-93), a Victorian celebrity known on both sides of the Atlantic as an actress, proud member of the Kemble theatrical dynasty, solo performer of Shakespeare, and author of journals about life on her husband's Georgia plantation.
Weinstein considers these problems and opportunities in the context of sentimental fiction (Ida May, Twelve Years a Slave, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Lamplighter, The Wide, Wide World), near-sentimental fiction (Pierre), narratives concerning slavery (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Fanny Kemble's Journal), and a host of relevant nonliterary discourses about the meaning of family.
Some of the women whose autobiographical writings are included here are well known: Mary Jemison, Fanny Kemble, Sojourner Truth and Margaret Fuller have caught our attention before.
A staff writer for The Guardian and as shrewd an observer of American mores as Alexis de Tocqueville or Fanny Kemble, Younge takes readers on adventures through the US that most Americans have never experienced.
She compares Fanny Kemble's Journal on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 to Hentz's The Planter's Northern Bride to underscore that "'feeling right' [can] produce drastically different political allegiances" (67).
It has been a tremendous help to me this autumn at Princeton because I have been able to work at the University Library from 9-12 every morning while Edward was at school, & thanks to the time & the hospitality of the Library, my book on Fanny Kemble has gone ahead pretty well.
Born in Brecon, her grandmother, Fanny Kemble, was a famous actress and her father, Roger Kemble, was the manager of a group of travelling actors.