The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Laurence Sterne, Ross Ian Campbell
‘Read, read, read, read, my unlearned reader! read…’
Sterne’s great comic novel is the fictional autobiography of Tristram Shandy, a hero who fails even to get born in the first two volumes. It contains some of the best-known and best-loved characters in English literature, including Uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, Parson Yorick, Dr Slop and the Widow Wadman. Beginning with Tristram’s conception, the novel recounts his progress in ‘this scurvy and disasterous world of ours’, including his misnaming during baptism and his accidental circumcision by a
falling sash-window at the age of five; unsurprisingly, Tristram declares that he has been ‘the continual sport of what the world calls Fortune’. Tristram Shandy also offers the narrator’s ‘opinions’, at once facetious and highly serious, on books and learning in an age of rapidly expanding print
culture, and on the changing understanding of the roles of writers and readers alike.
This revised edition retains the first edition text incorporating Sterne’s later changes, and adds two original Hogarth illustrations and a wealth of contextualizing information.
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