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It occurs to me that for all of the musickal references scattered throughout the Aubrey/Maturin novels of Patrick O’Brian, there is not a single mention made (at least that I can recall¹) of the musick of Beethoven.

I wonder why this is.

Certainly Jack and Stephen show a general preference for earlier musick – works by Corelli, Locatelli, Handel, J.C. Bach and “Old” Bach, for instance.  But then again, there are also references to their playing pieces by contemporary composers like Clementi and Hummel.  I find it hard to believe that two such enthusiastic musicians would not be aware of Beethoven’s musick, much less that they wouldn’t at least give it a try.

But as I say, I don’t believe O’Brian ever mentions such a thing.

Curious, that.

¹It’s been a very long time since I read any of the books past The Wine Dark Sea, and I never actually dipped into the last, incomplete novel, so my information is incomplete and perhaps my memory is faulty.

The twelve year old gel is going to the movies later this afternoon with a pair of her young gentleman friends.

Of course, it’s all perfectly innocent at this point, but then again one doesn’t wait until after the barbarians have entered the citadel before one moves to strengthen the garrison.

I knew from the very day she was born that sooner or later I was going to have to deliver the “boys are scum” speech.  Guess I’d better get on with drafting it.


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July 2010