A literary tendency of the late eighteenth century which found pleasure in sympathising with suffering. The emotion was soon derided and considered pathetic, but the benevolent concern with human goodness can now be seen as a way station on the road to a more humane and just society. Prime examples of sentimental novels are Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield, Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling, Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey. This topic is given extensive consideration in the entry for Sensibility.
Editors. "Sentimentality, Sentimentalism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1004, accessed 21 December 2013.]