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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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Dibdin and Jane Austen

Dibdin and Jane Austen

Musical Cultures of Gentry Women

(p.108) Interlude 2 Dibdin and Jane Austen
Charles Dibdin and Late Georgian Culture

Nicola Pritchard-Pink

Oxford University Press

Jane Austen was one of Dibdin’s greatest admirers and his songs feature prominently in her music collection. Yet the Dibdin songs she owned, with their bawdy comedy, political and social satire, and martial, masculine themes, were far removed from the musical diet prescribed for young ladies of Austen’s rank by conduct writers. Indeed, they were quite different from those advocated by Dibdin himself in his tract on the musical education of young girls, the Musical Mentor (1808), which suggested songs on ‘Constancy’, ‘A Portrait of Innocence’, or ‘Vanity Reproved’ as more suitable subject matter. By highlighting the contrasts between contemporary expectations of female performance and the contents of Austen’s collection, this interlude presents domestic musical performance less as an instrument of control and more as a means by which women could express themselves and participate in the world beyond the bounds of home, family, and conduct-book femininity.

Keywords:   Jane Austen, gender, domestic, repertoire, nation, pedagogy

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