Radcliffe, The Italian (1797), p. 144

As they passed with silent steps along the winding rocks, the tranquillity of the landscape below afforded an affecting contrast with the tumult and alarm of their minds.

Affecting to whom? It is conceivable that a tranquil landscape would calm Ellena and Vivaldi down, but it could hardly be affecting to them. What is proposed in this quote is a single view which simultaneously comprehends the tranquil landscape and the tumultuous mind; such a view could be neither sublime nor beautiful; it must be affecting. Moments such as these, which evoke sensibility in a quaint context, are strongly anti-sensible. They fill the gap between reader and text which the reader would otherwise be put upon to occupy, and they show the sensibility of the novel's characters to be invented, and sometimes escapist.

Related terms:

a dictionary of sensibility
term list
source bibliography
critical bibliography