Catherine Talbot in Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, London (oratorio) - April, 1747

from A Series of Letters between Mrs. Elizabeth Carter and Miss Catherine Talbot, from the Year 1741 to 1770, page 203:

This play, and one oratorio, are the sum of the public places I have been at, unless you will add two very moderate drums, and one concert. Those oratorios of Handel's are certainly (next to the hooting of owls) the most solemnly striking music one can hear. I am sure you must be fond of them, even I am who have no ear for music, and no skill in it. In this last oratorio he has literally introduced guns, and they have a good effect.

cite as

Miss Catherine Talbot and Mrs Elizabeth Carter, and Montagu Pennington (ed.), A Series of Letters between Mrs. Elizabeth Carter and Miss Catherine Talbot, from the Year 1741 to 1770, volume 1 (New York, 1973), p. 203. accessed: 11 December, 2023

location of experience: Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, London (oratorio)


Catherine Talbot
Essayist, letter writer, polymath

Listening to

hide composers
unspecified concert performance
Judas Maccabaeus
written by George Frideric Handel
performed by Caterina Galli, Elizabeth Gambarini, Henry (Thomas) Reinhold, John Beard

Experience Information

Date/Time April, 1747
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public


The listening experience is found in a letter from Catherine Talbot to her life-long dearest friend Elizabeth Carter dated 18 April 1747. Original spelling, punctuation and capitalisation retained. Elizabeth Carter was a member of the Bluestockings Society, educated women who met and exchanged letters about a wide variety of intellectual interests. The origin of the term may reference a gentleman who participated in the group wearing blue stockings, not the formal black stockings that convention required. He was welcomed none the less, suggesting a spirit of intellectual enquiry and companionship that changed by the Victorian era when ‘Bluestocking’ became a derogatory term directed at women interested in intellectual pursuits.

Originally submitted by 5011Henning on Thu, 26 Jan 2023 13:25:06 +0000
Approved on Mon, 01 May 2023 15:34:36 +0100