Item #68853 Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. Lawrence STERN.
Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

Mixed Edition, Signed by the Author

Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. Gentleman.

London, [York]: R. and J. Dodsley; T. Becket and P. A. Dehondt, 1761.

Full Description:

STERNE, Laurence. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Vols. I-II: London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1767; Vol. III-IV: London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1761; Vols. V-VI: London: Printed for T. Becket and P.A. Dehondt, 1767; Vol. VII-VIII: London: Printed for T. Becket and P.A. Dehont [sic], 1765; Vol. IX: London: Printed for T. Becket and P.A. Dehondt, 1767.

Mixed edition, Volumes VII, VIII and IX being first edition, Volumes III, IV, V, and VI being second edition and Volume I and II being sixth editions. With author's signature "L. Sterne" on the top margin of page 1 of volumes V, VII and IX. Nine small octavo volumes (6 1/8 x 3 11/16 inches; 156 x 95 mm). [4], 177, [1,blank]; 184; [3]-202; [4], [1]-146, 156-220, [1,blank]; [8], 150, [2, blank]; [4], 155, [1, blank]; [2], 160; [2], 156; [8], 145, [1, blank] pp. Engraved frontispiece by F. Ravanet after W. Hogarth in Volume I, and by J. Ryland after W. Hogarth in volume III. With the half-titles called for in Volumes IV, V, VI, and IX. With the marbled leaf in Volume III, and the black plates in Volume I. Signed by Sterne, as usual, on the first page of text in Volumes V, VII, and IX. Volume VII is in the first state, with errata on the verso of the title-page and with uncorrected text. Volume IX is variant (?), with the catchword "ori" on leaf a1. Volume IV is the "concealed" second edition with the correct spelling of "fancy" on page 73. Although the pagination skips in volume 4, the collation is complete. Perhaps lacking perliminary blanks in volumes I and III.

Contemporary speckled calf, skillfully rebacked. Boards double-ruled in gilt. Board edges stamped in blind. All edges speckled red. Spine stamped and numbered in gilt. Brown claf spine labels, lettered in gilt. Some occasional spotting and finger smudges. A bit of rubbing and flaking to calf. Overall, a very good set.

Tristram Shandy's huge popular success made Sterne, a Yorkshire parson, the toast of the London literary world. When some volumes were pirated, Sterne began signing some genuine editions of his work. This set is signed by Sterne on the first page of volumes V, VII and IX, as is usual in first editions. "Sterne is generally acknowledged as an innovator of the highest originality, and has been seen as the chief begetter of a long line of writers interested in the 'stream-of-consciousness'". Among these must be numbered Joyce, who wrote regarding Finnegan's Wake, "I after all, am trying to tell the story of this Chapelizod family in a new way... Only I am trying to build many places of narrative with a single esthetic purpose. Did you ever read Laurence Sterne?" "[Sterne] remains, as the auther of Tristram Shandy, a delineator of the comedy of human life before whom only three or four humorous writers, in any tongue or of any age, can justly claim precedence... he deserves many of the honours that have been paid to Pope and Swift".

Grolier, 100 English, 52. Rothschild 1970. Sterling 807. Tinker 1974.

HBS 68853.


Price: $7,500.00

Item #68853