The Man of Feeling

The Man of Feeling

The Man of Feeling

The Man of Feeling

Excerpt

Anonymously and rather hesitantly during the summer of 1771, there appeared a short novel entitled The Man of Feeling. The small duodecimo bore the imprint of Mr Cadell, the well-known bookseller in the Strand, but there was nothing in the circumstance of the book's birth to foreshadow the extraordinary success which it almost instantly met. And success it certainly was. Three years before, in 1768, The Sentimental Journey had found just such a sudden blaze of celebrity. Ten years before, in Paris, Julie of the Nouvelle Héloïse had wrung as many hearts, set flowing as many tears of true sensibility, as now this new hero Harley was doing in London and Edinburgh, Bath and Tunbridge Wells.

Who was its author? The anonymity of this latest fashionable triumph was a temptation to the fame-struck, and to this a certain Mr John Eccles, an Irish clergyman resident in Bath, succumbed. Somewhat rashly, Mr Eccles announced himself as the author, and produced as his ' pièce justificative a manuscript copy in his own handwriting of The Man of Feeling . . .

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