The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction

The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction

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The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction seeks to address fundamental questions about the function, meaning and understanding of music in nineteenth-century culture and society, as mediated through works of fiction. The eleven essays here, written by musicologists and literary scholars, range over a wide selection of works by both canonical writers such as Austen, Benson, Carlyle, Collins, Gaskell, Gissing, Eliot, Hardy, du Maurier and Wilde, and less-well-known figures such as Gertrude Hudson and Sara Shepherd. Each essay explores different strategies for interpreting the idea of music in the Victorian novel. Some focus on the degree to which scenes involving music illuminate what music meant to the writer and contemporary performers and listeners, and signify musical tastes of the time and the reception of particular composers. Other essays in the volume examine aspects of gender, race, sexuality and class that are illuminated by the deployment of music by the novelist. The result of these wide-ranging approaches to the subject of music and literature is a new network of methodologies for the continuing investigation of the culture and society of nineteenth-century music as reflected in that period's literary output.As Geoffrey Pearson reports, a#39;As late as February 1886 London placed itself on a state of alert to meet revolutionary mob violence: ... in the autumn of the following yeara#39;.8 In Victorian England, the upper classes perceived the mob as consisting of a#39;paupersa#39;, a#39;dangerous ... or religiously negligent.11 Indeed, the masses were positively feared because theories of mental and evolutionary science seemed to anbsp;...

Title:The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction
Author: Sophie Fuller, Nicky Losseff
Publisher:Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. - 2007

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