Title: The Works of Laurence Sterne containing The ...
Publisher: London:Charles Daly.
Publication Date: 1839
Book Condition: Very Good
Engraved portrait frontispiece, engraved title-page, title-page, ii, 795, . Engraved head and tail pieces. All edges marbled. Marbled endpapers. Light foxing to preliminary and final leaves. 15.5 x 22 cm. Contemporary half calf. Spine with five compartments with floreate gilt tooling and a red morocco label with gilt lettering; four raised gilt tooled bands, with triple gilt ruled borders. Very slight wear along the hinges, and to the top and tail of the spine. Covers are marbled paper over boards, corners a bit rubbed and very slightly bumped. The notorious book, written at a time when novels were new and hadn't yet settled into a conventional shape, is continually challenging and surprising. And with his two famous pages, the black & marbled pages, Sterne created a singular work of art: death and life, represented simply and vividly. In this edition the black page became a smaller black block of ink and the marbled page was just left a blank space (nothing is missing!). Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy is one of the weirdest books in the Western canon (in the margin of page 168 in a contemporary pencil annotation, someone has written "Was the author mad?". First published from 1759 to 1769 in seven volumes, it tells the madcap life story of its title character in the most digressive way possible. Sterne, in the eighteenth century, wrote fiction that seems wildly 'postmodern' even by today's standards: the novel 'remixed,' for instance, the text of other books to the point of plagiarism (a prime source, hilariously, was Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy). WorldCat locates just five UK copies of this edition (Universities of Oxford, Reading, Leicester, Manchester, St.Andrews). Bookseller Inventory # 4398