Laurence Sterne and the Eighteenth-Century Book

Laurence Sterne and the Eighteenth-Century Book

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication:
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Publisher's listprice:
GBP 79.99
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Product details:

No. of pages:217 pages
Size:155x235x20 mm
Weight:470 g
Short description:

Offers new readings of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy by considering its design features alongside broader developments in eighteenth-century book production.

Long description:
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.

'In Laurence Sterne and the Eighteenth-Century Book, Helen Williams has written a careful, scholarly study of lasting value about Sterne as a book designer. No one has yet attempted so thorough and meticulous a study of Sterne's 'graphic and typographic ingenuity'. His audacious blank, black and marbled pages are placed in the context of other printed design materials -'print sources beyond the novel'. What Thomas Keymer did for Tristram Shandy's context of writing-identifying the antecedents for what seems'post-modern' in Tristram's floating world-Williams has done for the physical design of first editions of the book.' TLS Reviews
Table of Contents:
1. Hands; 2. The Black Page; 3. The Sermon 4. The Marbled Page; 5. Footnotes and Catchwords; 6. Engraved Lines.