Romanticism and Music Culture in Britain, 1770-1840: Virtue and Virtuosity

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Music was central to everyday life and expression in late Georgian Britain, and this is the first interdisciplinary study of its impact on Romantic literature. Focusing on the public fascination with virtuoso performance, Gillen D'Arcy Wood documents a struggle between sober ‘literary' virtue and luxurious, effeminate virtuosity that staged deep anxieties over class, cosmopolitanism, machine technology, and the professionalization of culture. A remarkable synthesis of cultural history and literary criticism, this book opens new perspectives on key Romantic authors – including Burney, Wordsworth, Austen and Byron – and their relationship to definitive debates in late Georgian culture.

* Traces a surprising and little-studied narrative of conflict over art, commerce, gender and the nation
* Wholly original in its interdisciplinary focus, drawing on current scholarship in Romantic and eighteenth-century literary studies and musicology
* Packed with historical information drawing on a variety of archival sources, including newspapers, journals, diaries and pamphlets
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages314
ISBN (Print)9780521117333, 9781107411784
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Publication series

NameCambridge Studies in Romanticism


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