Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fanny's Back!

Last week, I did a post about this book, a book I've had for nearly twenty years, a book which I could always find. Until I needed it. Last week. Much searching of logical and illogical places--with no result. Some gnashing of teeth and inappropriate language.

So I hopped online (we always hop there, have you noticed, just as we hop on the freeway?--oh, we are such techie/high-speed frogs, aren't we?), found another copy (for $24.02), ordered it, and it arrived this weekend. Now I can get to work on Fanny ...

There was a time--when I was young and very immature--that work on Fanny would have made me laugh, for fanny, in our family, was the "polite" way we said "butt" or "ass"--neither word permissible in my boyhood home. ("Behind" was okay. As was "derrière"--which showed some culture.) But Dad would say "Fanny." So it was okay for the rest of us. When we were on long drives, for example, he would rise up (in the driver's seat!) and announce that he was "just cooling my fanny." Mother didn't smile. But I (and probably my brothers) thought it was the funniest thing since ... well, since the previous times he'd said "fanny."

As I aged (but failed to mature), I was dazzled to learn that there were people named Fanny. Women, of course. I don't think I know of a man named Fanny, though I am now remembering that some bullies on the playground would call me "Danny Fanny" back at Adams Elementary School in Enid, Oklahoma. Some of them even waxed poetical: "Danny, Danny, / Big fat fanny!" Clever. (BTW: I have a fanny that is neither big nor fat. Just saying.)

Anyway, Fanny Wright--Frances "Fanny" Wright--got into my life because she was involved for a bit with Mary Shelley in 1827 (almost a decade after Frankenstein, but only five years after Bysshe Shelley drowned in Italy). Fanny was heading off to America (for a reason I'll write about next time) and wanted Mary Shelley to go with her. And why not? Wasn't Mary the daughter of political radicals William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft? Why wouldn't young Mary (still only 30) join her on her optimistic enterprise in America?

Another Fanny did. Frances "Fanny" Trollope--the mother of the celebrated novelist, Anthony--a woman who would become a best-selling writer herself ...

So ... two Fannys and a Mary ... why not?

We'll see ... now that I can get back into my Fanny book ... Should I carry it in a fanny pack?

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