Laurence Sterne

(November 24th, 1713 — March 18th, 1768)

Laurence Sterne was an English novelist and clergyman. During his early career in the clergy, Sterne published many sermons. During his time as a writer, he published only three novels — two of which remain uncompleted. Despite this, he was widely influential and sensational famous during the last nine years of his life.

Sterne was born in Ireland, where his military father was stationed, and is sometimes considered Anglo-Irish. He spent his youth travelling from place to place, not remaining in one spot for more than a year. He also travelled extensively during the later years of his life, for his health. Sterne was diagnosed with tuberculosis as a teenager after suffering a lung hemorrhage, and he lived with that illness for many decades.

When Sterne wrote A Political Romance, a satire of the church, his book was burned and his clergy career destroyed. However, he discovered his talent for writing humour. After that, he published Tristram Shandy and became immediately famous. He was rich and celebrated for the last nine years of his life.

There was a rumour that Sterne’s corpse had been stolen from his grave and sold to anatomists at Cambridge University for study purposes. It is said that after someone recognized him, they returned and re-buried him.

For Sterne’s famous portrait, see the review for The Man of Feeling.

Laurence Sterne is a book author.

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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

18th Century

The little details and techniques matter, and can be the difference between a good book and an unforgettable one. This book changed the way I saw font, style, technique, and it showed me the power of humour to be as immortal as literature itself. This is a review of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy.