Charles Burney (1726–1814) has several claims on our attention in literary study. A musicologist and author, he made himself into one of the most prominent figures in the world of the arts at the end of the eighteenth century. The first instalment of his great

History of Music

carried an eloquent dedication to the queen composed by the author’s friend Samuel Johnson. It appeared in the momentous year of 1776, when events across the Atlantic failed to obscure a rush of major publications in England – we have only to name the initial volume of Edward Gibbon’s

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

; Adam Smith’s

Wealth of Nations

; and the rival music history of Sir John Hawkins. These went along with significant items by James Beattie, Lord Hailes, Hannah More, and the recently…

1547 words

Citation: Rogers, Pat. "Charles Burney". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 April 2021 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

14721 Charles Burney 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.