A History of Feelings

A History of Feelings

by Rob Boddice


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What does it mean to feel something? What stimulates our desires, aspirations, and dreams? Did our ancestors feel in the same way as we do? In a wave of new research over the past decade, historians have tried to answer these questions, seeking  to make sense of our feelings, passions, moods, emotions, and sentiments. For the first time, however, Rob Boddice brings together the latest findings to trace the complex history of feelings from antiquity to the present.

A History of Feelings is a compelling account of the unsaid—the gestural, affective, and experiential. Arguing that how we feel is the dynamic product of the existence of our minds and bodies in moments of time and space, Boddice uses a progressive approach that integrates biological, anthropological, and social and cultural factors, describing the transformation of emotional encounters and individual experiences across the globe. The work of one of the world’s leading scholars of the history of emotions, this epic exploration of our affective life will fascinate, enthrall, and move all of us interested in our own well-being—anyone with feeling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781789140675
Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
Publication date: 02/14/2019
Edition description: 1
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rob Boddice is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Global Fellow based at Freie Universität Berlin and McGill University in Montreal. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of The History of Emotions, Pain: A Very Short Introduction, and The Science of Sympathy: Morality, Evolution and Victorian Civilization.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Feeling For History 7

1 Archaic And Classical Passions 20

2 Rhetorical And Bodily Feelings 49

3 Motions And Machinations 77

4 The Age Of Unreason 106

5 Senselessness And Insensibility 131

6 The Ministry Of Happiness 164

Conclusion: The Value Of Experience 188

References 193

Select Bibliography 220

Acknowledgements 224

Photo Acknowledgements 226

Index 227

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