Marianne and Willoughby, Lucy and Colin: betrayal, suffering, death and the poetic image.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Many of the song lyrics in Jane Austen’s personal music books (some collected or transcribed by her, some inherited or passed on from family members) are couched in the sentimental poetic diction prevalent in the eighteenth century, with highly conventional pastoral settings and imagery. I have been particularly struck by a long ballad in seven parts titled ‘Colin and Lucy’, which is a 1783 setting by Tommaso Giordani of a 1725 poem by Thomas Tickell (1685-1740) describing the betrayal, death and revenge of a wronged woman. The printed music of this ballad is in a book inscribed by Jane Austen, and it seems likely that she was familiar with it and probably sang and played it herself. Several incidents included in the song are echoed and perhaps deliberately parodied in Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility (1811), although the rhetoric and imagery are strikingly different. The novel’s language, though often dramatic, is matter-of-fact and literal. In this paper I will discuss the ballad’s musical and lyrical rhetoric and how Austen alters and undercuts its poetic imagery in her treatment of similarly dramatic (though not fatal) events in the novel.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationL'Immagine nella parola, nella musica e nella pittura
    Place of PublicationSesto San Giovanni, Italy
    PublisherMimesis Edizioni
    Pages239-255
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Print)9788857549248
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Jane Austen
    • Sense and Sensibility
    • Thomas Tickell
    • Tommaso Giordani
    • music and literature
    • Ballads

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  • Activities

    • 1 Invited talk

    Music in Narrative, Narrative as Music

    Gillian Dooley (Speaker)

    11 Sep 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

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    Cite this

    Dooley, G. (2018). Marianne and Willoughby, Lucy and Colin: betrayal, suffering, death and the poetic image. In L'Immagine nella parola, nella musica e nella pittura (pp. 239-255). Mimesis Edizioni.