Why did Fanny Trollope bother writing a whole book on “Domestic Manners of the Americans”, when she could have summarized the whole thing as “Awful,” and saved herself the trouble?

(Never mind, I know why from her son’s autobiography: it kept the whole family fed when they had very little other income.)

I must say, it’s still true that Europeans take more of their time for leisure and less for earning money than Americans do, but I’m still waiting for all that sparkling conversation that she claims was so much commoner in Europe in her day. Admittedly, the best conversationalist I ever met, though living in the Americas, was born in the UK – but I have a feeling that Fanny Trollope would not have included Wales in her category of the heights of civilized society.