Rupert Christiansen

The High Notes Of Love

Susanna, The Captain & The Castrato: Scenes From The Burney Salon, 1779-80


Starhaven 140pp £9 order from our bookshop

THIS IS AN enchanting little monograph, neither dramatic nor important, but in its way perfectly focused and beautifully composed. Its author, Linda Kelly, is an accomplished cultural historian of the late eighteenth century and its principal subject is the romantic friendship between Fanny Burney's younger sister Susanna and the legendary Italian castrato Gasparo Pacchierotti.

Kelly is fortunate in her primary source - Susanna's unpublished journals, lodged in the British Library but to date largely ignored by scholars. Judging by the extracts presented here, these are every bit as vivid and spontaneous as Fanny's more

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter