Definitions

Fanny

Fanny

[fan-ee]
Elssler, Fanny, 1810-84, Austrian dancer. The youngest daughter of Johann Elssler, copyist and valet of Haydn, she made her debut (1833) in London. She danced at the Paris Opéra (1834-39) and in London (1838-40). Her forte was folk dancing, especially of the cachucha, the cracovienne, and the tarantella. She toured (1840-42) the United States and after appearances throughout Europe retired in 1851. She was one of the most important ballerinas of the Romantic era; her dancing was sensuous, earthy, and fired by great energy. Her sister, Thérèse, often supported her as partner.
Burney, Fanny, later Madame D'Arblay, 1752-1840, English novelist, daughter of Charles Burney, the composer, organist, and music scholar. Although she received no formal education, she read prodigiously and had the benefit of conversation with her father's famous friends, including David Garrick, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Samuel Crisp. Her first novel and best-known book, Evelina (1778), was published anonymously, but she soon acknowledged its authorship and achieved literary prominence. She became an intimate friend of Samuel Johnson and his circle. Her second novel, Cecilia, appeared in 1782, Camilla in 1796, and The Wanderer in 1814. The theme of Burney's books is the entry into society of a virtuous but inexperienced young girl, her mistakes, and her gradual coming of age. She spent five unhappy years (1786-91) as a member of Queen Charlotte's household. In 1793 she married General D'Arblay, a French émigré. Her voluminous journals and letters give an excellent account of English culture and society from 1768 to 1840.

See biographies by E. Hahn (1950) and C. Harman (2001); studies by M. E. Adelstein (1969), T. G. Wallace, ed. (1984), and K. Straub (1988).

Brice, Fanny or Fannie, 1891-1951, American comedienne, b. New York City as Fanny Borach. Brice appeared in burlesque and vaudeville from 1906. She starred in the Ziegfeld "Follies" from 1910 onward, and in Broadway shows, emphasizing her plainness by means of a comic awkwardness. In 1937 she created for radio the popular role of Baby Snooks. She appeared in the films My Man (1928), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), and Ziegfeld Follies (1944). Three films have been based on her life, including Funny Girl (1968).

See biography by N. Katkov (1953).

Kemble, Fanny: see under Kemble, Roger.
Fanny or Fannie is a given name—a pet form of FrancesPeople:

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