Women Musicians in Victorian Fiction, 1860-1900: Representations of Music, Science and Gender in the Leisured Home

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Overview

"For nineteenth-century society, music was a means by which women could display their gentility, education, their physical grace and express their 'selves'. Novelists were quick to employ this recognized way for women to project their personalities, and fictional scenes featuring women musicians served to reinforce or explore and challenge traditional views of the place of both women and music in society." "Over the first half of the century, writers like Austen and Bronte confined their critiques to satirical portrayals of women musicians. Later, however, a marked shift occurred with the introduction of musical female characters who were positively to be feared. The stark boundaries between the musical 'angel' and the musical 'demon' became increasingly blurred, making more complex the fictional depiction of gender identities and sexuality." "Phyllis Weliver examines the reasons for this shift in her investigation of representations of female musicians in Victorian fiction from 1860-1900. Focusing on changing gender roles, musical practices and the framing of both of these in scientific discourses, the book explores how fictional notions of women musicians diverged from actual trends in music making."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Weliver (Suffolk U., Boston) examines representations of female musicians in Victorian fiction from 1860 to 1900. Some of the novels included in her study are Eliot's , Dickens's , and Wilke Collins's "sensation novel" . The volume considers such topics as the place of music in Victorian society, the relationship between music and mesmerism, gender roles, and scientific ideas. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
1 Musical Women in England, 1860-1900 19
2 Harmony and Discord in the Self: Music, Mesmerism and Mental Science 59
3 Female Power in Sensation Fiction 98
4 Dissonance and Fugue in The Mystery of Edwin Drood 116
5 George Eliot: Melody, Evolution and Aesthetics 144
6 Recapitulation and Natural Selection in The Mill on the Floss 184
7 Sexual Selection and Music : Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda 206
Conclusion: Trilby 245
App. A: Source Readings 285
App. B: Glossary of Musical Terms 299
Bibliography 301
Index 313
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