This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this book, which is about the letters exchanged by John and Abigail Adams during the American Revolution. The book focuses on how the Adamses used language to express their feelings, particularly about their being apart. It examines how Abigail and John perpetuated conventional meanings of language about emotions and put them to their own use, and analyzes the emergence and Americanization of the culture expressed by the language of sensibility.
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