This article draws on the expanding terrain of digital newspaper archives to explore early advertisements for Sterne’s work. It situates its findings in relation to previous bibliographical studies to present a more contextual approach to how Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey were advertised during the 1760s. Comparing these small promotional texts with others produced for contemporaneous publications, and placing them within the broader context of publishing conventions in this period, this article shows that typical accounts of Sterne’s ‘originality’ as found in his first reviews and in subsequent critical works were not always reflected in the often conventional nature of the advertisements for his novels. However, the authors conclude, perhaps these pared-back advertisements demonstrate all the more effectively the notorious celebrity both Sterne and his books had attained in the period of their first appearance.
|Published - 1 Nov 2016