Jane Austen: The Musician as Author

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Jane Austen was a practising musician, and my intention in this paper is to investigate the significance of that fact for her writing practice. Beginning with the comparison between Elizabeth and Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, I will consider contemporary attitudes to virtuosity and aesthetics in an attempt to understand the implications in Austen’s fiction of the distinction between ‘playing well’ and ‘being listened to with pleasure’. My recently completed project of cataloguing in detail each piece of playable music in the Austen Family Music Books facilitates the study of Austen’s personal musical taste in the context of her extended family and, more broadly, of English musical culture in the late Georgian era. I attempt to bring together Austen the musician with Austen the writer, both in her knowledge of the musical repertoire of the time and the language of music more generally
Original languageEnglish
Article number73
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Jane Austen
  • Music
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • musician
  • Austen Family


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  • Jane Austen's Music

    Dooley, G., 2023

    Research output: Non-textual formFilm, Digital Media or Visual Output

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