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The putative death of Tiny Tim anticipates the death of little Paul in Dombey and Son and recalls the equally sentimentalized death of Little Nell.

Early in February , crowds gathered on the quaysides of Boston and New York, anxious to learn whether Little Nell, the heroine of Charles Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop , had died in the latest monthly instalment Chapters 71 and Those on board ships coming from England called out to those on shore; whole crowds convulsed into tears--such was the sentimentality of the readership and the appeal to such extreme emotion made by the text. In writing of the death of his heroine Dickens vividly, painfully recalled his feelings at the death of his beloved sister-in-law, the seventeen-year-old Mary Hogarth, on 8 May Although modern critics such as Oscar Wilde and notably Aldous Huxley in Vulgarity in Literature have taken Dickens and other Victorian writers to task for excessive sentimentality, as a third-generation Romantic Dickens was writing in a markedly "sentimental" tradition bequeathed him by such serious writers as Laurence Sterne A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy , and Adam Smith The Theory of Moral Sentiments , Reason, held the Romantics , had failed to improve either human nature or social conditions in eighteenth-century Europe.

Consequently, Romantic writers sought to move readers emotionally and spiritually by appealing to sentiment, "the capacity for moral reflection" Paul Schlicke, London : John Grant , Hilton , Tim. John Ruskin: The Later Years. Honan , Park. Johnson , Barbara. Kaplan , Fred.

Henry James: The Imagination of Genius, a Biography

Sacred Tears: Sentimentality in Victorian Literature. Karlin , Daniel.

Douglas-Fairhurst , Robert and Perry , Seamus. Kett , Joseph F.

Keynes , Geoffrey. London : Galahad , Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Lang , Cecil Y. Oxford : Clarendon , — Mason , Thomas. Public and Private Libraries of Glasgow.

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Sacred tears : sentimentality in Victorian literature

London : B. Robson , Sinclair , David. Slater , J. How to Collect Books. The Romance of Book-Collecting. London : L. Upcott Gill , Merish, Lori. Persuasive and engaging, with a central thesis that is equally applicable to Victorian literature. Railton, Stephen. Includes sections on a variety of 19th-century authors. Very helpful introductory resource to Victorian sentimentality, in Britain as well as the United States.

Tompkins, Jane. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Foundational work on popular 19th-century fiction by women, reassessing the genre significance and arguing that the sentimental aims of 19th-century novels had vital political significance. Contains a particularly influential chapter on Stowe and sentimentality. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login. Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions.

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