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Charles Dibdin and Late Georgian Culture$
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Oskar Cox Jensen, David Kennerley, and Ian Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812425.001.0001

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Introducing Mr Dibdin

Introducing Mr Dibdin

(p.1) 1 Introducing Mr Dibdin
Charles Dibdin and Late Georgian Culture

Ian Newman

Oskar Cox Jensen

David Kennerley

Oxford University Press

The introduction provides an overview of Charles Dibdin’s life and work through a reading of his memoir, The Professional Life. This is a particularly problematic text, directed towards an early-nineteenth-century audience for whom Dibdin was best known as a writer of sentimental songs about heroic sailors. It consequently obscures the more diverse, miscellaneous aspects of his career, which can provide an index for the wide-ranging but overlapping cultural productions of the period. The introduction makes a case for the importance of resisting the narrative of specialization in order to appreciate both the range of Dibdin’s achievements, and the breadth of possibilities available in late Georgian culture. The introduction confronts a series of methodological problems which Dibdin’s self-fashioning raises, and gives an account of how each of the subsequent chapters helps us to reconceive of Dibdin’s importance by focusing on the interrelated networks in which he operated.

Keywords:   life-writing, memoir, self-fashioning, miscellany, professional, William Weber, Peter Burke, Georgian, culture, interdisciplinary

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