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The New Age of Sentimentality

Lisa Appignanesi, Rachel Hewitt & Irenosen Okojie join Rana Mitter at the Free Thinking Festival to doiscuss emotion and sentimentality from the C18th to the present.

Charles Dickens. Walt Disney. The Romantic poets..These renowned artists and entertainers were all accused of being “over-sentimental”. But is our own age topping them all – with its culture of grief memoirs, gushing obituaries and feel-good fiction? Three Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature join Rana Mitter at the Free Thinking Festival to take a hard look at whether contemporary culture has “gone soft”.

Lisa Appignanesi is the author of books including Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love; Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors; All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion and Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness. She is Chair of the Royal Society of Literature Council.

Irenosen Okojie is author of a novel Butterfly Fish and a short story collection Speak Gigantular - surreal tales of love and loneliness. She has written for The New York Times, The Observer, and The Huffington Post and is currently running a writing workshop at London’s South Bank.

Rachel Hewitt’s books include A Revolution of Feeling:The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind and Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, where she is also Deputy Director of the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts.

Producer: Zahid Warley

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54 minutes