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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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‘Each Song Was Just Like a Little Sermon’

‘Each Song Was Just Like a Little Sermon’

Dibdin’s Victorian Afterlives

(p.204) 11 ‘Each Song Was Just Like a Little Sermon’
Charles Dibdin and Late Georgian Culture

Isaac Land

Oxford University Press

This chapter is central to the volume’s chronological contentions, as its argument accounts for the specialized, one-dimensional Dibdin of ‘Tom Bowling’ that has endured into recent scholarship. Focusing on Dibdin’s posthumous reception, it examines the moral and rhetorical difficulties of repackaging Dibdin’s works for a Victorian sensibility; it explores the specifics of mid-century concert culture previously highlighted by Derek Scott and William Weber as central to changes in nineteenth-century taste and programming; and it develops the theme of nostalgia into a revelatory consideration of the relationship between new naval technologies, national pride, and military training, and the songs, people, and language of a remembered Napoleonic ‘golden age’—to which Dibdin proves to have been as central, in the Victorian imagination, as Nelson.

Keywords:   Navy, Victorian, sentiment, patriotism, nostalgia, sensibility, masculinity

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