The Man of Feeling
  • Publication Date: April 14, 2005
  • ISBN: 9781551114682 / 1551114682
  • 224 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Man of Feeling

  • Publication Date: April 14, 2005
  • ISBN: 9781551114682 / 1551114682
  • 224 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The Man of Feeling is unquestionably among the most important and influential works of eighteenth-century sentimental fiction. The novel follows Harley, the eponymous “man of feeling” and impoverished aristocrat, as he travels from his rural estate to London and back in a reluctant quest for financial advancement and more heartfelt quest for kindred spirits. In addition to presenting a remarkable gallery of characters, Harley’s story gives a profound sense of the historical changes transforming the economy, landscape, and social relations of eighteenth-century England and Scotland.

This Broadview edition’s critical introduction and rich selection of appendices situate
The Man of Feeling in the context of the period’s intellectual debates on sentiment, sympathy, and the novel. Contextual documents include contemporary reviews of the novel, selections from Mackenzie’s correspondence and journalism, and related contemporary writings by David Hume, Adam Smith, Sir Walter Scott, and Laurence Sterne.


“This is a very welcome and splendidly prepared edition of a text central to European culture in the revolutionary age, and it provides a rich, accessible, and comprehensive context for understanding a hugely popular work that has been strangely neglected in the English curriculum. This edition should return this classic of sentimental literature to the mainstream of English literature.” — Barbara M. Benedict, Trinity College, Connecticut

“Broadview Press’s new edition of The Man of Feeling should now be regarded as the definitive edition of Mackenzie’s genre-defining work. The notes on the text are clear and ample without being intrusive. The supplemental materials are perfectly chosen. And Maureen Harkin’s introduction places Mackenzie’s work in the context of the sentimental mode deftly and efficiently, emphasizing the cultural and literary complexities of the sentimentalism that Mackenzie’s novel typifies. The edition should be extremely useful for students at all levels, as well as for general readers.” — Elizabeth Hedrick, University of Texas at Austin

“It is useful to have a crisp new paperback edition of Henry Mackenzie’s The Man of Feeling, considered by many scholars to be one of the high points of sentimental literature. The utility is increased considerably by the addition of a rich variety of appendices that supplement the text and provide valuable insights into eighteenth-century sentimentalism. All this will help readers to place this important novel in its eighteenth-century context.” — Eighteenth-Century Scotland

Henry Mackenzie: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Man of Feeling

Appendix A: Sympathy and Sentiment

  1. From David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40)
  2. From Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)
  3. From Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768)

Appendix B: Mackenzie’s Correspondence on the Composition and Publication of The Man of Feeling

  1. Letters to Elizabeth Rose on the Composition of The Man of Feeling, 1769-70
  2. Correspondence with James Elphinston on the Composition and Reception of The Man of Feeling, 1770-71

Appendix C: Other Fiction and Journalism by Mackenzie

  1. From Julia de Roubigné (1777)
  2. The Mirror, nos. 42-44 (19-26 June 1779): “The Effects of Religion on Minds of Sensibility. The Story of La Roche”
  3. The Mirror, no. 101 (25 April 1780): “The Effects of Sentiment and Sensibility on Happiness. From a Guardian”
  4. The Lounger, no. 20 (18 June 1785): “On Novel-Writing”
  5. The Lounger, no. 90 (21 October 1786): “Letter from Barbara Heartless, the Unfortunate Attendant of a Woman of Extreme Sensibility and Feeling”

Appendix D: Contemporary Reviews and Evaluations

  1. The Monthly Review (May 1771)
  2. The Critical Review (June 1771)
  3. The Scots Magazine (August 1771)
  4. The London Magazine (August 1771)
  5. Sir Walter Scott, “Henry Mackenzie,” Lives of the Novelists (1823)

Select Bibliography

Maureen Harkin is an Associate Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College, Portland, Oregon. She specializes in eighteenth-century literature, particularly the sentimental novel.