Laurence Sterne and the Eighteenth-Century Book

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Scrutinising Sterne's fiction through a book history lens, Helen Williams creates novel readings of his work based on meticulous examination of its material and bibliographical conditions. Alongside multiple editions and manuscripts of Sterne's own letters and works, a panorama of interdisciplinary sources are explored, including dance manuals, letter-writing handbooks, newspaper advertisements, medical pamphlets and disposable packaging. For the first time, this wealth of previously overlooked material is critically analysed in relation to the design history of Tristram Shandy, conceptualising the eighteenth-century novel as an artefact that developed in close conjunction with other media. In examining the complex interrelation between a period's literature and the print matter of everyday life, this study sheds new light on Sterne and eighteenth-century literature by re-defining the origins of his work and of the eighteenth-century novel more broadly, whilst introducing readers to diverse print cultural forms and their production histories.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages217
ISBN (Electronic)9781108904162
ISBN (Print)9781108842761, 9781108822602
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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