This work is the modern critical version of Mackenzie's three novels.
The novels examined chronicle the social transformation of eighteenth-century Scotland.
Henry Mackenzie (1745-1831), an all-round man of letters, was at the center of the Scottish literary society in Edinburgh in the eighteenth century when that city was a major cultural centre in fast-developing Europe.
He published essays, poems, plays, stories, and novels, and also edited two periodicals (being the principal contributor), but it is his three novels that best represent his social vision and artistic prowess. "The Man of Feeling", his first novel, saw over 40 editions during his lifetime, and was translated into several major European languages.
Walter Scott characterized the keynote of Mackenzie's novels as "the illumination of the nicer and finer sensibilities of the human breast."