Sympathy, Sensibility and the Literature of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

Sympathy, Sensibility and the Literature of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century asks
what makes it possible for self-interest, cruelty and violence to become part of sensibility – a cultural trend of compassion, benevolence and humanitarianism in the eighteenth century. Csengei undertakes to investigate the darker side of sensibility by exploring forms of emotional response, including sympathy, tears, swooning and melancholia through a range of eighteenth-century contexts. The book offers fresh interpretations of core literary texts of sensibility (by Sarah Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Oliver Goldsmith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Henry Mackenzie), works by its most central philosophers (Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson, David Hume and Adam Smith), medical writings about sympathy, sensibility and irritability (Albrecht von Haller, Robert Whytt and La Mettrie), late eighteenth-century critiques of sensibility by Mary Wollstonecraft and Elizabeth Inchbald, along with William Godwin’s papers, letters and diary. It also explores connections between eighteenth-century forms of feeling and more recent sciences of the psyche from psychoanalysis to the neurosciences.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages261
ISBN (Electronic)9780230359178
ISBN (Print)9780230308442
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Cultures of Print
PublisherSpringerLink

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  • Cite this

    Csengei, I. (2012). Sympathy, Sensibility and the Literature of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century. (Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Cultures of Print). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230359178