This essay offers a revisionist reading of Charles Burney Sr.’s extraordinary talent for networking. It shows that Dr. Burney initiated and burnished a friendship with Dr. Johnson, who would play a crucial role in facilitating Burney’s transition from lowly musician to respected man of letters. Despite Johnson’s own lack of interest in music, he was willing to aid his friend with his magnum opus: a history of music that would eventually extend to four volumes. And that assistance included ghostwriting: enlisting Johnson as his uncredited collaborator was the ultimate proof of Burney’s exceptional networking skills.

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