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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2012

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Summary

A colleague here asked if I didn't find the whole thing [a television documentary about the Munich Air Crash] just too relentlessly sentimental. Well, as it happens, I did, and I liked that. I don't think there's enough sentiment around. Sentimentality is a maligned emotion…I'm particularly fond of it because it's kryptonite to irony and cynicism…

—A. A. Gill, 2011

Oh my dear, dear Dickens! What a No. 5 you have now given us! I have so cried and sobbed over it last night, and again this morning; and felt my heart purified by those tears, and blessed and loved you for making me shed them; and I can never bless and love you enough.

—Francis Lord Jeffrey, 1847

Men ought not to be laughed at for weeping until we come to a more clear Notion of what is to be imputed to the Hardness of the Head, and the Softness of the Heart.

—Richard Steele, 1722

This book began over two decades ago with my desire to achieve a fuller and fairer reading of Dickens. It seemed to me then that critics dismissing great swathes of Dickens's novels as ‘sentimental’, felt that they had thereby satisfactorily settled a critical question, whereas in fact they had merely raised several new ones. Dickens's sentimental scenes and characters were to me as crucial to the overall power of the novels as his darker or comic figures and scenes.

Type
Chapter
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Dickens and the Sentimental Tradition
Fielding, Richardson, Sterne, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Lamb
, pp. xiii - xxviii
Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2012

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  • Introduction
  • Valerie Purton
  • Book: Dickens and the Sentimental Tradition
  • Online publication: 05 November 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.7135/UPO9780857289070.002
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  • Introduction
  • Valerie Purton
  • Book: Dickens and the Sentimental Tradition
  • Online publication: 05 November 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.7135/UPO9780857289070.002
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Valerie Purton
  • Book: Dickens and the Sentimental Tradition
  • Online publication: 05 November 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.7135/UPO9780857289070.002
Available formats
×