Musical Accomplishment in Frances Burney’s The Wanderer

  • Joseph Morrissey


In this chapter, Morrisey analyses how Romantic-period women subjectively experienced the act of musical performance through a reading of Burney’s The Wanderer. His research also examines how this experience of music was shaped by society and the wider musical culture of the period. Burney’s presentation of musical practice, Morrisey argues, shows how it could alienate women from their friends and from their self-identity. Conversely, by charting Burney’s imagined reformation of music, the chapter also illuminates the opportunities for music to form a meaningful part of women’s lives, implicated in self-realisation and human intimacy. Finally, it examines moments of contradiction in Burney’s novel to reveal her difficulties in squaring a genuine love of music with paternal authority and a cultural ideal of femininity.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Morrissey
    • 1
  1. 1.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

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