‘May 7 --Breakfasted with Lord Francis Gower, and again enjoyed the
great pleasure of meeting Mrs. Arkwright, and hearing her sing. She is,
I understand, quite a heaven-born genius, having scarce skill enough in
music to write down the tunes she composes. I can easily believe this.
There is a pedantry among great musicians that deprives their
performances of much that is graceful and beautiful. It is the same in
the other fine arts, where fashion always prefers cant and slang to
nature and simplicity…’
Part of the talented Kemble family, Francis Arkwright (nee Kemble) was first cousin to actress Fanny Kemble. Francis Arkwright didn’t achieve as much public acclamation as much of the rest of her extended family, but clearly her talents were appreciated by Walter Scott. He describes her performances in several journal entries, including the one above.