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Tears before the storm

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 24 October 1991

The History of Tears: Sensibility and Sentimentality in France 
by Anne Vincent-Buffault.
Macmillan, 284 pp., £40, July 1991, 0 333 45594 0
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... crowd, it seems premature to proclaim a new era for Henry Mackenzie’s Man of Feeling. Tears, as Anne Vincent-Buffault suggests, have a rhetoric as well as a history, and shedding them while making war is not the same thing as weeping at the loss of a race – or even in defence of your wife, as Muskie did in 1972. Muskie’s tears were prompted by the ...

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