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Memoirs of Doctor Burney

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Charles Burney (1726–1814), the music historian, is best remembered for his General History of Music and the accounts of his musical tours in Europe. He was a friend of Samuel Johnson and David Garrick, corresponded with Diderot and Haydn and was made Fellow of the Royal Society in 1773. Although he was a music teacher by profession, it was his writings on music which brought him widespread recognition. Following publication of the General History, he began his memoirs but did not complete them. It is likely that he intended his daughter, the novelist Fanny Burney, to publish the memoirs after his death using his manuscript and other papers. Instead she created her own embellished version, adding stylised accounts of events emphasising the literary and social, rather than the musical aspects. Volume 1 takes us to the mid-1770s with the publication of the accounts of the two musical tours.

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