Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 March 2009
This article examines the household of John Hunter, a London surgeon, and Anne Hunter, a poet, and its relevance for Haydn’s collaboration with Anne – the two sets of English Canzonettas (1794–1795). I interpret canzonettas by Haydn and several of his London contemporaries as artefacts of a context in which music and anatomy were pursued not only under the same roof but by the same people, who participated in shared discourses, medical and musical, regarding the nature of femininity. This perspective reveals ways in which John partook of his wife’s world, asserting the artful and beautiful of dissection and anatomy, and suggests new significance for aspects of the Haydn–Hunter canzonettas, especially their references to body parts, sighs, symptoms and death.
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