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.

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