The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction

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Overview

"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." 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.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction
The voice, the breath and the soul : song and poverty in Thyrza, Mary Barton, Alton Locke and a child of the Jago 3
'Cribbed, cabin'd, and confined' : female musical creativity in Victorian fiction 27
Music, crowd control and the female performer in Trilby 57
The piano's progress : the piano in play in the Victorian novel 83
Female performances : melodramatic music conventions and The woman in white 105
Indecent musical displays : feminizing the pastoral in Eliot's The mill on the floss 129
'Singing like a musical box' : musical detection and novelistic tradition 151
The 'perniciously homosexual art' : music and homoerotic desire in The Picture of Dorian Gray and other fin-de-siecle fiction 173
'You might have called it beauty or poetry or passion just as well as music' : Gertrude Hudson's fictional fantasias 197
The music master and 'the Jew' in Victorian writing : Thomas Carlyle, Richard Wagner, George Eliot and George Du Maurier 225
Thomas Carlyle and the grain of the voice 245
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