Image of Frances Burney, 1782 (painted by Edward Francesco Burney) The Burney Centre at McGill University
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Memoirs of Dr Charles Burney, 1726-1769

Memoirs of Dr Charles Burney, 1726-1769
Edited by Slava Klima, Garry Bowers, and Kerry S. Grant
University of Nebraska Press, 1988



From the dustjacket:

Charles Burney (1726-1814) was one of the foremost music historians of the Enlightenment, a friend of David Garrick, a correspondent of Diderot and Rousseau, a champion of Haydn, and a member of the Royal Society. The frequency with which he is still quoted by musicologists and historians attests to the continuing relevance and importance of his work.

After completing his monumental General History of Music (1776-89), Burney began to write a projected twelve-volume autobiography, a task he abandoned in 1805. When he died nearly a decade later, his daughter, the novelist Fanny Burney, edited the manuscript but destroyed much of it before publishing her own bowdlerized Memoirs of Dr. Burney in 1832. Not until the 1950s did fragments of the original memoirs, long believed lost, come to light. This edition reconstructs the fragments from Burney's first volume, free of Fanny Burney's interpolations and alterations. The resulting text is here published for the first time.

The restored and uncensored Memoirs of Dr. Charles Burney covers his life from 1726 to 1769, illuminating his early career and the musical and theatrical life of London and the provinces in the mid-eighteenth century. The editors have skilfully bridged the fragments with material from other sources, including Burney's later letters. Their annotations, drawn in part from the articles on music that Burney wrote while he was working on his memoirs, reveal many new details about his world.



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