Victorian Soundscapes

Paperback | August 20, 2003

byJohn M. Picker

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Far from the hushed restraint we associate with the Victorians, their world pulsated with sound. This book shows how, in more ways than one, Victorians were hearing things. The representations close listeners left of their soundscapes offered new meanings for silence, music, noise, voice, andecho that constitute an important part of the Victorian legacy to us today. In chronicling the shift from Romantic to modern configurations of sound and voice, Picker draws upon literary and scientific works to recapture the sense of aural discovery figures such as Babbage, Helmholtz, Freud, Bell,and Edison shared with the likes of Dickens, George Eliot, Tennyson, Stoker, and Conrad.

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From the Publisher

Far from the hushed restraint we associate with the Victorians, their world pulsated with sound. This book shows how, in more ways than one, Victorians were hearing things. The representations close listeners left of their soundscapes offered new meanings for silence, music, noise, voice, andecho that constitute an important part of th...

John M. Picker is at Harvard University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.71 inPublished:August 20, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195151917

ISBN - 13:9780195151916

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"One of the most exciting recent developments in the history of consciousness has been a heightened awareness of listening: an exploration of how acoustic environments, the technologies of sound, and the means of vocal communication shape our sense of ourselves and of the worlds we live in.John Picker's Victorian Soundscapes speaks on this topic with an assured voice. It offers the attentive ear both a rich trove of historical lore and an incisive analysis of how modern acoustics became a part of modern subjectivity. The book is rewarding both as a study of Victorian 'close listening'in its own right and as a source of resonant case studies in the emerging field of cultural acoustics."--Lawrence Kramer, Fordham University