The Sentimental Novel The Politics Of Domestic Fiction - Essay

The Politics Of Domestic Fiction

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

Herbert Ross Brown

SOURCE: "The Sentimental Compromise," in The Sentimental Novel in America, 1789-1860, Duke University Press, 1940. Reprint, Pageant Books, Inc., 1959, pp. 358-70.

[In the following chapter from his The Sentimental Novel in America, 1789-1860, Brown criticizes the sentimental novel for its idealism and consequent neglect of social and political issues.]

The central experiment of the generation had been toward the reconciliation of unlikes—the humanitarian philosophy of enlightenment, perfectibility, democracy, beside the philosophy of acquisition, laissez-faire, gratuitous benevolence. Under this...

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