Sentimental Journey (1768). [Click on the image to enlarge it.], a sample page from Laurence Sterne's
In his ground-breaking art-history book Civilisation, Lord Kenneth Clarke praises the "fragment" about Abdera as "a masterpiece of Baroque prose." Sterne employs the following elements to give the prose the quality of poetry: effective repetition, classical allusion, metaphor, and contrast.
Above: The 1768 edition's title-pages for Volumes One and Two. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
In the quoted passage from the 1768 text, the typographical features of pages 106-107 create a sense of how the passage should be read through such elements as the capitals in the title; the long dash at the beginning; the shorter dashes throughout; the italics on the second page; and the juxtaposition at the bottom of p. 107 of “The fire caught” and “and the whole city. . . .”
Although Sterne gives Abdera as the birthplace of pastoral poet Theocritus (circa 300 BCE-265), most sources give his birthplace as Syracuse. However, for thematic purposes, Sterne has given this rough-and-ready Greek town as the birthplace of the inventor of pastoral poetry as part of his theme that human nature is malleable, and can be refined by the cultivation of sentiment.
- Victorian Sentimentality
- Illustrated Editions of Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey
- Illustrations for A Sentimental Journey (1841 and 1857)
Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. London: T. Beckett and P. A. De Hondt, 1768. 2 vols.
Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Illustrated with one hundred engravings on wood, by Bastin and G. Nichols, from original designs by Jacque and Fussell. London: Joseph Thomas, 1841.
Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. With 100 illustrations by Tony Johannot. London: Willoughby, 1857.
Turner, Katherine. "Introduction" to Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2010. Pp. 11-46.
Last modified 22 September 2018