The Meanings of Sensibility

in Abigail and John Adams

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780226037431
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226037448 | DOI:
The Meanings of Sensibility

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This chapter, which describes the conventional meanings of the language of sensibility held by John and Abigail Adams, their circle and other Americans, analyzes the Adamses' view on the effects of reading and writing on persons of sensibility, and the meanings that they gave to individual terms signifying the culture of sensibility. It also discusses the concept of impressions, nonverbal signs of sensibility, and the limit of sentimental language.

Keywords: language of sensibility; John Adams; Abigail Adams; reading; writing; culture of sensibility; impressions; nonverbal signs; sentimental language

Chapter.  17247 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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