Sentiment and Exploitation in British Literary Representations of Eighteenth-Century India

Main Article Content

Peter Craft


This article argues that Henry Mackenzie’s novel, The Man of Feeling (1771), represents an important shift in British literary depictions of the indigenous peoples of India. Although the inhabitants of the West Indies had been represented condescendingly in British literature for centuries prior to the publication of Mackenzie’s novel, East Indian characters, such as John Dryden’s version of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, were seen as powerful and civilized. By 1771, however, East and West “Indian” characters had become virtually indistinguishable from one another in British literature.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

Author Biography

Peter Craft, Felician University

Peter Craft received his PhD from the University of Illinois, and he is currently a full professor of English at Felician University. His research focuses on British literature of the long eighteenth century, with special interests in postcolonial theory and drama. He has had a total of six articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and two of them are from his book: Warfare, Trade, and the Indies in British Literature, 1652–1771 (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2021). He received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to study at the Folger Shakespeare Library.