Any English reader (and James had quite enough of the English world to
know it) would find that name outright rude and rather funny. The word
'fanny' in English is obscene; it is the equivalent more or less of
cunt. The OED does not mention this, but Partridge records it from 1860
on. I will leave the Assingham part to the imagination.
Dickens, of course, trades in the name and its often humourous, even
caricaturical, relation to the person.
On Monday, May 12, 2003, at 10:09 AM, Carrol Cox wrote:
> P.S. and O.T. I've read _Golden Bowl_ many times, but have never read
> any commentary on it. A name like "Fanny Assingham" in a book urges the
> reader to inspect other names