The novel (roman) bequeathed more than just its name to the Romantic period: it became an institution. The reading of novels, privately and during social gatherings, was so common that many composers (consciously or subconsciously) turned to the novel as a compositional prototype – in essence creating musical novels, complete with protagonists, musical events, and paradigmatic plots, which can frequently be revealed through topic, semiotic, and narrative analytical procedures. Nineteenth-century music critics saw connections to literature, and the novel itself, more readily than we do, and their music criticism is replete with poetic readings. After decades of privileging formal analysis, scholars have once again begun to explore connections between music and literature. However, until recently, a good number of these studies have focused primarily on the use of musical gestures as momentary signifiers – interpreted in the context of their specific significance in the moment – leaving little room for large-scale narrative interpretations.