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Sentiment and Sociability – The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Sentiment and Sociability: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century

John Mullan


With the rise of the novel in the mid-18th century came the rise of sentimentalism. While the fondness for sentiment embarrassed later literary critics, it originally legitimized a morally suspect phenomenon: the novel. This book describes that legitimation, yet it looks beyond the narrowly literary to the lives and expressed philosophies of some of the major writers of the age, showing the language of feeling to be a resource of philosophers like David Hume and Adam Smith, as much as novelists like Samuel Richardson and Laurence Sterne.

Keywords: novel, sentimentalism, sentiment, philosophers, David Hume, Adam Smith, novelists, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne, philosophies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1990 Print ISBN-13: 9780198122524
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122524.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Mullan, author
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge