Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Kembles

October 5.—A quiet day at Ravensworth Castle, giggling and making giggle among the kind and frank-hearted young people. Ravensworth Castle is chiefly modern, excepting always two towers of great antiquity. Lord Ravensworth manages his woods admirably well, and with good taste. His castle is but half-built. Elections have come between. In the evening, plenty of fine music, with heart as well as voice and instrument. Much of the music was the spontaneous effusions of Mrs. Arkwright, who had set Hohenlinden and other pieces of poetry. Her music was of a highly-gifted character. She was the daughter of Stephen Kemble. The genius she must have inherited from her mother, who was a capital actress. The Miss Liddells and Mrs. Barrington sang the "The Campbells are coming," in a tone that might have waked the dead.

Walter Scott seemed to enjoy an excellent day with Francis Arkwright reciting poetry, on October 5th, 1827.  Ms. Arkwright’s father Stephen and grandfather Roger were both successful theater managers.  While Roger did some acting, son Stephen gained more renown in this regard.  And, of course, Francis Arkwright’s cousin, actress Fanny Kemble was fairly famous too.  The text above is from Scott’s Journal.

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