“It has recently been argued that reading novels, especially epistolary novels, helped people in the 18th century to put themselves in other people’s shoes, and sensitized them to cruelty in everyday life, savage punishments and abuses of human rights: In reading, they empathized across traditional social boundaries between nobles and commoners, masters and servants, men and women, perhaps even adults and children. As a consequence, they came to see others—people they did not know personally—as like them, as having the same kind of inner emotions.” – LitHub

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